liquor control commission

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Oregon: Liquor Control Commission Approves Recreational Marijuana Licenses

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First Wholesaler Among Newest Group of Licensees

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Friday approved 14 Recreational Marijuana producer and wholesale licenses.

The producer licensees include:

• Kit Johnston, (MariCo Farms) – Mixed, Tier 2, Yamhill County

• Sol-Sisters, Inc. (Sol-Sisters) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Polk County

• Mountain Sun Botanicals, Inc. (Mountain Sun Botanicals) – Mixed, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Grown Organics LLC, David Tourzan (Oregon Grown Organics) – Mixed, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Roots Inc. (Oregon Roots) – Mixed, Tier 2, Washington County

• Pilot Farms, LLC, Matthew A. Dolinar (Pilot Farms) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Harlen Magnie, Thomas Pretorius (H&H Gardens) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Patricia Downing (Elvenwood Enterprises, LLC) – Outdoor, Tier 1, Josephine County

• Trichomes Gardens Limited, James Newgard (Trichomes Garden) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Washington County

• Jefferson State Farms LLC, Benjamin Yuma (Jefferson State Farms LLC) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

• Oregon Roots Inc., James Stitch, Trichomes Gardens Limited, James Newgard (Oregon Roots) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Washington County

• Trailhead Farms LLC, Dave Henderson, Terry McDowell (Trail Head Farms) – Outdoor, Tier 1, Hood River County

Oregon: Marijuana Shoppers Adjust To 25% Sales Tax

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Recreational marijuana shoppers in Oregon are taking a new 25 percent sales tax in stride, according to many dispensary owners and industry observers.

The state on January 1, after a three-month tax holiday, imposed the tax on recreational cannabis sales, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. The tax will eventually be replaced with a 17 percent sales tax, once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes control of the new recreational marijuana industry later this year.

While some customers have shrugged off the tax, "we have people that say they would rather go back to their 'guy,' so to speak, and walk out," said Matt Price, who owns the Cannabliss chain of dispensaries.

General manager Nathan Krytenberg at Glisan Buds and Foster Buds took the unusual step of absorbing the tax. He says his "strategic decision" should generate enough additional sales to cover the 25 percent hit.

Krytenberg said he hopes his move generates customer loyalty. More than 100 shops compete for cannabis customers in Portland, and there's a well-established black market, as well.

"To be quite honest with you, if we even take a small hit, I believe the fact that we are doing this will put us in a better market position," said Krytenberg. His Glisan Buds and Foster Buds shops sell marijuana for $9 and $15 a gram.

Oregon: Recreational Marijuana Sales Tax Begins Jan. 4

OregonMarijuanaLeaf[CannabisIndustryToday]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

All good things must come to an end, it seems, and it's the same with the Oregon weed tax holiday. Recreational marijuana consumers in the state will have to pay a 25 percent sales tax starting Monday, January 4.

The Oregon Legislature earlier this year approved allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot to adults 21 and older, tax-free, starting on Oct. 1, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. But tax-free sales end on Monday, when the state imposes a tax that will last until the end of 2016.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission isn't expected to open state-licensed recreational marijuana stores until late 2016; once that program is up and running, the 25 percent tax at dispensaries will be replaced with permanent 17 percent sales tax at recreational pot stores.

The Oregon Department of Revenue on Tuesday said they are prepared to deal with large sums of cash from dispensaries paying the new tax. Cameras have been added, employees have gotten security training, and a new "cash handling location" has been set up to accept large payments, according to the agency.

Marijuana's Schedule I classification under federal law has kept most traditional banks away from the business, fearing conspiracy charges and money laundering investigations. That means most marijuana transactions must be handled in cash.

Oregon: Outdoor Medical Marijuana Growers Organize To Have Voice In Regulation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 100 medical marijuana farmers who cultivate cannabis in the southern part of Oregon -- the epicenter of the state's growing community -- met on Thursday to voice concerns about how they'll fit into a newly regulated industry.

The meeting, organized by the Oregon Sungrown Growers Guild, was held at a grange hall in Josephine County, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. The group was established last spring to represent the interests of southern Oregon's outdoor marijuana farmers.

Thursday's meeting featured a short talk by state Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), who strongly supports medical and recreational cannabis. Growers told Sen. Prozanski they don't want any changes to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, and they're worried about zoning restrictions that could squeeze them out of both the medical and recreational marijuana programs.

They're also worried about deep-pocketed out-of-state investors swooping into their small communities and establishing price-gouging marijuana facilities.

"My goal is not to allow the medical program to be folded into the (recreational) program," Sen. Prozanski said, addressing concerns from the growers that they could meet a similar fate as their counterparts in Washington state, where the Legislature seems intent on doing exactly that. "My goal is not to impact the small farmer."

Oregon: Liquor Control Commission Names Marijuana Czar - It's A Former Pharma Lobbyist

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Tuesday announced that Tom Burns, a former pharmaceutical lobbyist who now works at the Oregon Health Authority as director of pharmacy programs and ran the state's medical cannabis dispensary program, will oversee the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

Before working for the state of Oregon, Burns served as top administrator in the California Senate and was a lobbyist for GlaxoSmithKline, a Big Pharma giant, reports Nigel Jaquiss at Willamette Week.

The OLCC has been in charge of distributing and regulating liquor in Oregon since alcohol Prohibition ended, and now that the voters have approved Measure 91, it is now in the position of implementing marijuana legalization.

"Tom has navigated these waters before on the medical side," said OLCC Executive Director Steven Marks. "In line with Chairman Rob Patridge's direction, Tom will lead the implementation of Oregon's recreational marijuana law with a measured approach that protects children, promotes safety, and brings the marijuana industry into the regulated market."

Photo of Tom Burns: Willamette Week

Oregon: Lawmakers Approve Money For Legal Marijuana Rules

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission can now begin the implementation of recreational marijuana legalization under Measure 91 after the Legislature's Emergency Board, composed of state House and Senate members, approved funding for staff, legal help and rule-writing.

The board approved a $583,000 loan for the OLCC, reports Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal. The money is coming from the state's liquor taxes, with the promise that the Commission will pay it back by the end of the 2015-2017 budget cycle using revenue generated by marijuana sales.

The money will allow commissioners to hire four workers: a program manager, two policy analysts and a public affairs staffer, reports The Associated Press. Regulating recreational marijuana in Oregon might eventually require up to 30 employees, according to one state estimate.

Oregon voters approved Measure 91 with a lopsided 56 percent to 44 percent margin last month, but the ballot initiative left most regulation up to the Liquor Control Commission to work out by January 2016.

Homegrown marijuana and personal possession will become formally legal on July 1, 2015, with commercial sales expected to begin in 2016.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization Gets First Hearing In Legislature

(Illustration: Where's Weed?)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana legalization on Tuesday got its first hearing in the Oregon Legislature when the House Judiciary conducted a brief hearing on House Bill 3371, which would license producers, processors and sellers of cannabis.

Under HB 3371, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission would have the authority to tax marijuana, but unlike Washington state's Initiative 502, home cultivation would still be permitted, reports Peter Wong of the Salem Statesman Journal.

"Marijuana legalization is coming to Oregon sooner rather than later," said activist Anthony Johnson of New Approach Oregon. "It makes sense to regulate marijuana like alcohol and for the Legislature to take the lead on the issue and make sure sensible regulations are in place."

A survey conducted last week by DHM Research of Portland showed that support for legalization is around the 50 percent mark in Oregon. "It sends a signal to where the voters' attitudes are heading," said John Horvick of DHM.

Predictably, the Oregon State Sheriffs Association is stuck in the past, and opposes legalization, preferring to keep the broad powers over otherwise law-abiding citizens given to law enforcement by the marijuana laws.

Oregon: Legislature Considers Legalizing, Taxing Marijuana

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon lawmakers are looking at a plan to legalize and tax marijuana under House Bill 3371, scheduled for an April 2 public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would legalize the production, processing and sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products, reports Yuxing Zheng of The Oregonian. Adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to six mature marijuana plants and 24 ounces of dried cannabis, the same amounts currently allowed for patients under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.

The Oregon Health Authority would be in charge of licensing marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers under HB 3371. Meanwhile, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission would oversee the taxation of cannabis.

Marijuana producers would be taxed $35 per ounce under the bill. That money would go to a "Cannabis Tax Account," 40 percent of which would go to state schools, with 20 percent each going to Oregon State Police, the general fund, and services for mental health, alcoholism and drugs.

If passed, HB 3371 would take effect on July 1, 2014.

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