May 19, 2016 9:07 AM

Oregon Issues Licenses for Growing and Selling Recreational Weed

Since April 29, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has started to issue the first bunch of licenses for growing and selling recreational marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. Oregon is going to fully embrace the weed industry by early next year.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is an agency responsible for controlling the marijuana industry as the state is preparing to implement recreational cannabis decriminalization in full.

The OLCC is going to issue six types of licenses for the cannabis industry: producer, researcher, retailer, lab, processor, and wholesaler. However, the state officials gave priority to marijuana producers, so eight growers were issued cultivation licenses in accordance with the new regulatory system on April 29.

Now, among licensed producers you can find Yerba Buena, Loved Buds, Terra Mater, Pacific Wonderland Craft Cannabis, Far Out Farms, Southern Oregon Cannabis Company, Smokey Mountain Farm, and New Breed Seed. These growers obtained licenses for recreational weed outdoor and mixed cultivation. The licenses will come into legal force after the annual license fees are paid. The fees range from $3,750 to $5,750.

The agency has not specified the locations of the growers; some of them are located in Washington, Clackamas, Tillamook, Lane, Josephine, and Jackson. The primary goal of the OLCC is to approve producers that will create a supply chain before distributing the product. The issue of the distributing licenses will be solved only in October.

According to Rob Patridge, the Commission's chairperson, newly licensed players on the weed market can bring their experiences and share their entrepreneurial capacity that will drive the innovative pot industry in Oregon.

Wonderland Craft Cannabis' representative hopes that this industry will boost the state's economy by creating more high paying jobs. After the first month of recreational cannabis sales, the Oregon Department of Revenue claimed that the cannabis industry brought $3.5 million in taxes, the amount that exceeded experts' expectations for the whole current year.

The OLCC has already received more than 900 applications at the beginning of the license issuing process, but the agency intends to issue about 850 more licenses by the end of this year. In the meantime, the Oregon Health Authority will control the sale of recreational cannabis to adults over 21 years.

Amanda Borup, an analyst of the regulatory commission, claimed that the state did not set any limits on the number of cannabis growers that can obtain licenses. However, even as the agency expects to receive from 1,200 to 2,000 license applications this year, it has not yet to approved the final rules that will regulate the operation of these new businesses. Moreover, it remains unclear how well these new rules will go with the regulations of the federal government that still consider cannabis to be a Schedule I drug, similar to heroin and LSD.

Oregon is one of the first American states to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Oregon is considered a paradise for cannabis buyers and sellers, as it imposes less tax on the drug and has looser residency requirements than other states. When all legal issues are finally worked out, the weed industry will bring new opportunities and millions of dollars in revenue to Oregon.

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