kate brown

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Oregon: Governor, State Police Superintendent Stand Up for Legal Cannabis

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Oregon Governor Kate Brown defended Oregon's cannabis regulations by publicly discrediting an Oregon State Police analysis which declared the state remains a top black market producer of cannabis.

Criticizing the analysis, Gov. Brown detailed steps the state has proactively taken to establish strict rules. Gov. Brown and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said that draft report was invalid and had incorrect data and conclusions. Gov. Brown noted that she also recently signed into law legislation that makes it easier to prosecute the unlawful import and export of marijuana products.

Oregon: Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Marijuana Merchants From Keeping Buyer Information

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oregon lawmakers approved a bill Monday to ban sellers of marijuana for recreational use from keeping information from their customers to protect buyers from possible penalties under federal law.

Although more than two dozen states have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use, the drug remains illegal at the federal level.

The bill, passed by the Oregon House of Representatives 53-5, bans merchants who sell recreational marijuana from keeping information for more than 48 hours that they collect from identification, such as a driver license.

The state Senate approved the bill in March. It now goes to the desk of Oregon Governor Kate Brown for her to sign into law.

"I personally am very concerned that we give as much protection to Oregon citizens to ensure that their personal identification information is not somehow compromised," Senator Floyd Prozanski told a committee last month.

Recent comments from members of the Trump administration indicate that federal anti-marijuana laws might be stepped up.

Brown and the governors of Alaska, Colorado and Washington - states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized - sent a letter in early April to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requesting to work with the administration if they planned to enforce federal marijuana laws.

Oregon: State May Declare Emergency Over Sessions Cannabis Comments

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oregon is considering declaring an emergency due to the threat of federal law enforcement of marijuana laws in states that have made the substance legal.

Senate Bill 863 passed last week; it would prohibit marijuana retailers from recording, retaining and transferring types of information that are contained on passport, driver license, military identification card or other ID that bears a picture of a person.

Dispensaries typically collect this type of information across the nation, but SB 863 requires marijuana retailers to destroy the type of information covered within 30 days of Governor Kate Brown signing off on the bill.

Section 4 of the bill states that on passage of the bill Oregon would declare an emergency in the face of threats of federal enforcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mason Tvert, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project, said the intentions of the current administration are unclear, bit it's good to be prepared.

Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown Appoints Marijuana Policy Adviser

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oregon Governor Kate Brown created a new position for her administration: a senior adviser on marijuana policy.

Jeffrey Rhoades, a veteran Multnomah County prosecutor, will advise the governor on all marijuana issues.

Rhoades begins his new job on June 2, with an annual salary of $94,448.

"It's not a day too early as far as I am concerned," said Ivo Trummer, the governor's legislative director, speaking to Oregon Cannabis Association members at an event held at the Laurelhust Club in Southeast Portland.

In 2014 Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper created a high-level post dedicated to marijuana policy. Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination, which focuses on regulating the state's medical and recreational markets, as well as promoting public health, public safety and keeping marijuana away from kids.

In Washington, cannabis is part of the governor's public safety adviser's job.

In a statement Friday, Brown said Rhoades will help "create responsive regulations in what is still a new industry."

"Jeff will be mindful of my focus on public safety, user awareness and educating youth as this burgeoning new business sector takes root," Brown said.

Trummer said that Brown's administration is eager to work with Oregon's marijuana businesses.

Oregon: New Marijuana Extract Requirements Imposed

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

On Tuesday the Oregon Health Authority warned Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries to not accept cannabis extracts from unlicensed processors.

The health authority has plans to start licensing for extract makers next month. Makers will most likely have to cease production until the required license can be obtained.

Butane hash oil, or BHO, can only be sold currently to medical marijuana patients and their caregivers in Oregon. It is up to the governor to sign an awaiting bill that would allow anyone 21 and older to buy extracts under Oregon's so-called early sales program.

The early sales program allows recreational consumers to purchase marijuana from dispensaries, which are regulated by the health authority. Starting later this year, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will oversee recreational sales.

Governor signed a bill earlier this month making unlicensed production of marijuana extracts a felony. The provision is intended to target homemade butane hash oil operations.

The health authority plans to roll out a licensing process for commercial extract companies, but André Ourso, manager of the state's medical marijuana program, said Tuesday that the application won't be online until April 1.

He said applying is just the beginning of a long process. "The application has to be reviewed," he said, adding that companies will need to ensure they meet local rules and fire safety requirements. "They still have to get their product tested for pesticides through an accredited laboratory."

Oregon: Governor Signs Bill For Marijuana Regulation Changes

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Governor Kate Brown signed a bill to officially remove a two-year residency requirement for marijuana business applicants yesterday, opening the door for out-of-state cannabis processors, producers, and retailers.

Between California with its drought and unregulated market and Washington with its harsh regulations, marijuana merchants will now find it quicker and easier to do business in Oregon.

Several other major changes were implemented in the bill:

-Veterans will be able to purchase their medical marijuana cards for $20 per year, instead of the regular fee of $200.

-All marijuana businesses will be allowed to deduct business expenses under the federal tax code, previously not allowed.

-Medical marijuana will be treated the same as prescription drugs when setting conditions for people on pretrial release.

-Medical marijuana patients will be able to use their completed OMMP (Oregon Medical Marijuana Patients) application to purchase tax-free medicine from stores.

These positive changes in marijuana legislation are proof that Oregon is listening to what its citizens want.

Oregon: House Passes Bill Making Oregon First State To Allow Marijuana Business Banking

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Oregon House passed House Bill 4094 with a 55-4 vote on Monday. The bill protects Oregon banks who provide financial services to state-regulated marijuana businesses.

The bill had initially passed the House on February 16, but the Senate amended it on February 26 when it passed there 18-6. The House vote on Monday concurs the Senate Amendments.

The bill now goes before Governor Kate Brown, who is expected to sign it, making Oregon the first state to allow banks and credit unions to provide financial services for cannabis business operating under state law.

It makes sense to allow banking for marijuana businesses operating within state law. Forcing businesses to keep large amounts of cash on hand is dangerous.

Sam Chapman of New Economy Consulting helped lead the lobbying effort for the bill. He stated that, “HB 4094 provides ample breathing room for small banks and credit unions in Oregon to further examine how they can best provide services to the cannabis industry while also complying with the Cole Memo guidelines. I suspect the passage of HB 4094 will inspire other adult use and medical cannabis states to follow Oregon’s lead on solidifying banking reforms at the local level in the not too distant future.”

Oregon: Kaya Holdings Opens New Marijuana Grow and Manufacturing Complex

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Kaya Holdings, Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has signed a lease on a 6,000 square foot facility in central Portland to serve as the company's expanded marijuana and cannabis manufacturing complex and West Coast operations base.

The company announced it will consolidate Kaya Farms and the newly acquired assets of OC Harley Gardens, including equipment, plants and all related licenses into the new facility for a substantially expanded grow with significantly increased volume capacities. "The Grow will continue uninterrupted to produce high quality, connoisseur-grade marijuana, as the expansion occurs to prepare the Company for the October 1st commencement of recreational sales in Oregon," a prepared statement reads.

"Additionally, the new facility allows for industrial level marijuana product manufacturing for our coming roll-out of proprietary strain-specific concentrates, extracts and related products, as well as the establishment of a commercial grade kitchen to produce a complete Kaya Kitchens line of cannabis-infused baked goods and candies," the announcement reads.

Oregon: Early Recreational Marijuana Sales Bill Signed By Governor

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday signed legislation allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the state to start selling recreational cannabis to adult consumers on October 1.

Consumers 21 and older will be able to buy up to a quarter-ounce of pot per day at dispensaries, as well as seeds and up to four immature plants, under Senate Bill 460, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian.

This will be the first time medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell to people who don't have a medical card. Supporters of the measure said Oregon should go ahead with sales to divert traffic from the black market. Dispensary owners were also anxious to move into recreational marijuana sales, because the market is oversaturated on the medical side.

There will be no tax on products in the dispensaries until January 4, under the temporary sales program. After that, a 25 percent sales tax will kick in.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission plans to license a network of recreational cannabis retailers and plans to allow them to open sometime in the second half of 2016. Many medical dispensaries are expected to switch to the recreational market.

Recreational marijuana retailers are expected to offer a wider range of products, and will be allowed to sell up to an ounce at the time to adults.

Oregon: Legislature Votes To Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales By Medical Dispensaries

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Senate Bill 460, to allow the limited sale of recreational marijuana at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries beginning October 1, passed the Oregon Legislature with a Thursday vote in the House.

The measure, which had already clerared the Senate, passed the House on a 40 to 18 vote, reports Larry Meyer at The Argus Observer. Recreational marijuana sales would otherwise have had to wait until the Oregon Liquor Control Commission got the rules in place sometime next year, leaving customers to buy it through the black market.

Noting that cannabis sales won't be taxed until January, Democratic Rep. Andy Olson said it will take time to get a tax structure in place. The "tax holiday" will help encourage consumers to get their marijuana from a licensed dispensary, wheere it will have been lab tested, rather than on the black market.

State Rep. Cliff Bentz, a Republican from Ontario, Oregon, was one of the 18 "no" votes on SB 460. Bentz said he's "long suspected" that many medical marijuana patients are faking; he cluelessly claimed that this measure "puts the state's blessing" on that.

Bentz also voted against another successful resolution which asked the U.S. Congress to take marijuana off the schedule of controlled substances and allow the cannabis industry access to the federal banking system.

Oregon: Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Law Including Sentencing Reform

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Oregon Rewrites Marijuana Criminal Code to Reduce Most Felonies to Misdemeanors and to Make Prior Convictions Eligible to be Cleared

Law Goes Beyond Other Legalization States to Reduce Harsh Marijuana Sentences and Allow for 78,319 Prior Marijuana Convictions to Potentially be Cleared

Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Wednesday signed H.B. 3400, an omnibus bill to implement Measure 91, the marijuana legalization initiative adopted by voters last November. The bill was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives this week.

Measure 91 legalized possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older and regulated commercial production, manufacturing, and retail sales of marijuana. Legalization for personal use took effect July 1, 2015.

As of that date adults 21 and older can legally possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home and up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside the home. They may also grow up to four plants at home, as long as they are out of public view. The regulatory structure for commercial retail sales will not be up and running until next year.

In addition to addressing the implementation of Measure 91, H.B. 3400 contains broad sentencing reform provisions that extend well beyond the elimination of criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana and cultivation of up to four plants. The new law reduces most marijuana felonies to misdemeanors or lesser felonies with significantly reduced sentences.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization/Regulation Measure Officially Qualifies For Ballot

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It’s official: Oregon voters will decide in November whether to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown has certified that the New Approach Oregon petition campaign has turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November ballot.

According to the Secretary of State's website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed.

The New Approach campaign is celebrating Tuesday's achievement by hosting its first voter registration canvass led by young Oregonians who will be decisive in winning a new approach to marijuana.

“This is our moment to be part of history and lead a movement,” said Dominique Lopez, metro regional organizer for New Approach Oregon. “Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, but together we can win a more sensible approach and better the lives of Oregonians.”

Tuesday's announcement comes almost exactly two weeks after Washington state began regulated sales of marijuana. New data shows that Washington state has received $318,000 in excise taxes in the first 10 days of regulated marijuana sales.

The proposed measure in Oregon would allow for licensed and regulated cultivation and sales of marijuana. Sales would be taxed to generate money for schools, state and local police and drug treatment, prevention and mental health programs.

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