Liquor Control Commission to seek $7 million in pot taxes to track medical marijuana

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will ask state lawmakers during the 2019 session for $7 million in recreational pot taxes per biennium to help track medical marijuana.

Legislators appropriated money to start the tracking program; this money would be ongoing funding. Twenty-three positions have been authorized, which includes 16 inspectors, spokesman Mark Pettinger said. 

In a statement to the Statesman Journal, OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks said, "Our regulatory role over cannabis — recreational and now medical — as well as additional oversight responsibilities for hemp has greatly expanded the work of our agency.


Oregon has too much marijuana on hand, while Colorado's pot supply is just right

Two of the first states to broadly legalize marijuana took different approaches to regulation that left Oregon with a vast oversupply and Colorado with a well-balanced market. But in both states prices for bud have plummeted.

A new Oregon report by law enforcement found nearly 70 percent of the legal recreational marijuana grown goes unsold, while an unrelated state-commissioned Colorado study found most growers there are planting less than half of their legal allotment — and still meeting demand.


Oregon legislators push for congress to legalize marijuana

Lawmakers from Oregon say state legislators from across the nation are urging Congress to legalize marijuana.

In a joint statement, they said a directive they crafted was approved Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislators at its annual meeting in Los Angeles. It calls on Congress to help legal cannabis businesses access banking services.

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters said the cannabis industry is making big contributions to her state's economy, and giving it access to secure banking is critical to their success. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so financial institutions are reluctant to provide it with banking services.


Recreational marijuana has made it more difficult for Oregon patients to get their medicine

Oregon patients who use medicinal cannabis are finding it more and more difficult to get their prescriptions.

Rapidly changing laws have drastically led to a reduction in the number of dispensaries available for medical cardholders.

Two years ago, there were 420 state medical dispensaries, but now there are only eight, The Guardian reported.

What’s the story?

In 2014, Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use, which prompted many medical businesses to shift to the recreational side in hopes of making big bucks. The law went into effect in July 2015.


Oregon trying to shrink state’s marijuana black market

In an attempt to help curb the large amount of black market cannabis that’s been coming out of Oregon, the state is adopting some new measures. Regulators are concerned that if the problem gets too out of control it could prompt federal intervention.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is now requiring cultivators to give advance notice of their harvests so officials can come to inspect their fields to try and catch plants being diverted into the black market. The commission also wants to check the drying stages to make sure no plants are missing.


Oregon's cannabis business is going through some growing pains

Oregon has some issues. It has been 20 years since it became (with Washington in 1998, after California in 1996) one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis, and its voters approved an adult-use market in 2014. Oregon knows about cannabis.

It just does not know how much cannabis it has, according to New Frontier Data.

Through an internal review released this month, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) overseeing the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) admitted a lack in regulatory oversight of the industry, particularly concerning growers.


Marijuana smokers are setting aside their joints in favor of edibles, pills and extracts

Marijuana users across the country are setting down their bongs, putting away their joints and moving away from smoking pot.

It’s not that people are giving up on cannabis – far from it. But retailers across the country report that consumers are increasingly switching from smokable marijuana to other forms, including pot-infused foods known as edibles and vaporizer cartridges.


Oregon’s government has no idea how much marijuana the state is growing

The state’s cannabis farms have been massively underregulated, causing overproduction and a booming black market.

The Oregon Health Authority, the regulator for the state’s medical marijuana program, has no idea how much legal weed the state is producing, according to a report released by state health officials this month.

The Associated Press reports that an internal review of Oregon’s legal marijuana tracking and licensing process was ordered when law enforcement officials indicated that they couldn’t identify which grow ops were operating legally and which were not.


Study finds more Oregon college students using marijuana after legalization

Oregon State University researchers found that Oregon college students, including those under 21, were much more likely to use marijuana after recreational use became legal, according to a study published this week.

Most of the increase in the post-legalization period was among students who reported using marijuana one to five times a month, not among heavy users, the study found.


Oregon plans new cannabis harvest regulations to combat illicit market

Growers say the proposed rules would interfere with the time-sensitive process of producing high-quality crops.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is gearing up to roll out new regulations for the state’s licensed cannabis growers. The regulations aim to give the state more control and oversight over cannabis harvests. But growers are already pushing back. They say the new rules could interfere with the delicate and often unpredictable timing of harvesting plants at their peak.


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