Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2014 PDF

Whereas the people of the State of Oregon find that cannabis does not cause the social ills that its prohibition was intended to guard against; rather, that most of the social ills attributed to cannabis result from its unreasonable prohibition which:

(a) Provides incentives to traffic in marijuana instead of limiting its prevalence, since almost all cannabis users evade the prohibition, even though drastically expanding public safety budgets have reduced funding for other vital services such as education;

(b) Fosters a black market that exploits children, provides an economic subsidy for gangs, and sells cannabis of questionable purity and uncertain potency;

(c) Generates enormous, untaxed, illicit profits that debase our economy and corrupt our justice system; and,

(d) Wastes police resources, clogs our courts, and drains the public budget to no good effect; and,

Whereas, the people recall that alcohol prohibition had caused many of the same social ills before being replaced by regulatory laws which, ever since, have granted alcohol users the privilege of buying alcohol from state licensees, imposed strict penalties protecting children, delivered alcohol of sure potency, and generated substantial public revenues; and,

Whereas the people hold that cannabis prohibition is a sumptuary law of a nature repugnant to our constitution’s framers and which is so unreasonable as to:

(a) Arbitrarily violate the rights of cannabis users to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure as guaranteed to them by Article 1, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution;

(b) Unreasonably impose felony burdens on the cannabis users while the state grants special privileges to alcohol users, which violates Article 1, Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution;

(c) Unnecessarily proscribe consumption of a “herb bearing seed” given to humanity in Genesis 1:29, thereby violating their unqualified religious rights under Article 1, Section 3 and their Natural Rights under Article 1, Section 33 of the Oregon Constitution;

(d) Violates the individual’s right to privacy and numerous other Natural and Constitutional Rights reserved to the people under Article 1, Section 33 of the Oregon Constitution;

(e) Violates the state’s right to regulate and tax commerce within the state, as reserved to states under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, thereby abdicating control to illicit markets; and,

(f) Irrationally subvert the ends to which, in its Preamble, the Oregon Constitution was ordained and the purposes, in Article 1, Section 1, for which our government was instituted; now,

Therefore, the people find that the constitutional ends of justice, order, and the perpetuation of liberty; the governmental purposes of preserving the peace, safety, and happiness of the people; and the vitality of the other constitutional provisions cited above, demand the replacement of a costly, self-defeating prohibition with regulatory laws controlling cannabis cultivation, potency, sale, and use; defining and prohibiting cannabis abuse; protecting children with a comprehensive drug education program and strict penalties for the sale or provision of cannabis to minors; funding state drug abuse treatment programs; promoting Oregon hemp for fuel, fiber and food; and raising substantial revenue for public use.

Wherefore, be it enacted by the people of the state of Oregon, the laws relating to cannabis are revised as follows:

Section 1. This Act shall operate uniformly throughout Oregon and fully replace and supersede all statutes, municipal charter enactments, and local ordinances relating to cannabis, except those relating to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. This Act will lower the misuse of, illicit traffic in and harm associated with cannabis and will set up voluntary studies of cannabis users under ORS 474.045 (b) and other studies.

Section 2. A new state commission is hereby created and shall be named the Oregon Cannabis Commission, or the OCC. The OCC shall regulate the sale of cannabis and cultivation of cannabis for sale. The OCC shall consist of seven commissioners, which shall be appointed by the Governor before December 31, 2014 for a term of one year and they shall promulgate administrative rules, create systems and begin accepting license applications by February 28, 2015, and begin issuing licenses by March 21, 2015.

Section 3. This Act, in Section 4, creates an ORS chapter 474 titled the “Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.” Legislative Counsel shall move and renumber existing provisions of chapter 474.

Section 4. 474.005 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(1) “Abuse” means repetitive or excessive drug use such that the individual fails to fulfill a statutory or common law duty, including but not limited to the duties owed by parents to children, by motorists to pedestrians and other motorists, and by employees to employers, fellow employees, and the public.

(2) “Cannabis” means the flowering tops and all parts, derivatives, or preparations of the cannabis plant, also known as “marijuana,” containing cannabinoids in concentrations established by the commission to be psychoactive, but does not include “hemp” as defined by ORS 474.005(5).

(3) “Commission” means the Oregon Cannabis Commission, or OCC.

(4) “Cultivation” means growing the cannabis plant.

(5) “Hemp” means the seeds, stems, and stalks of the cannabis plant, and all other parts, products, and byproducts of the cannabis plant not containing cannabinoids in concentrations established by the commission to be psychoactive. Seeds and starts of all varieties of cannabis shall be considered hemp.

474.015 Short Title. This chapter may be cited as the “Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.”

474.025 Purpose of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. This chapter shall be liberally construed so as to minimize the misuse and abuse of cannabis; to prevent the illicit sale or provision of cannabis to minors; and to protect the peace, safety, and happiness of Oregonians while preserving the largest measure of liberty consistent with the above purposes.

474.035 Powers and duties of the commission, licenses for cultivation and processing. Hemp fiber, protein, oil not regulated.

(1) The commission shall have the powers necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. It shall make such rules and regulations as will discourage and minimize the diversion of cannabis to illicit sale or use within the state, the illicit importation and sale of cannabis cultivated or processed outside the state, and the illicit export or removal of cannabis from the state. The commission’s jurisdiction shall extend to any person licensed under this chapter to cultivate, process or sell cannabis, but shall not extend to any person who manufactures products from hemp. Hemp production for fiber, protein and oil shall be allowed without regulation, license nor fee. No federal license shall be required to cultivate hemp in Oregon.

(2) The commission shall issue to any qualified applicant a license to cultivate cannabis for sale. The license shall specify the areas, plots, and extent of lands to be cultivated. The commission shall equitably apportion the purchase of cannabis among all licensees. The commission shall license cannabis products of the quality and grade set by market demand.

(3) The commission shall issue licenses to process cannabis to qualified applicants who submit successful bids. Licensed processors shall, as specified by the commission, contract, cure, extract, refine, mix, and package the entire cannabis crop and deliver it to OCC contractors’ stores, but not later than four months after harvest.

474.045 Commission to license cannabis sale at cost for medical purposes. The Commission shall license cannabis sale at cost, including OCC expenses:

(a) To Oregon and other states’ pharmacies and OCC contractors’ stores for use under a physician’s order for glaucoma, nausea related to chemotherapy, AIDS, or any other condition for which a physician finds cannabis to be an effective treatment; and,

(b) To recognized Oregon medical research facilities for use in research directed toward expanding medical and sociological knowledge of the composition, effects, uses, and abuse of cannabis, to include studies of cannabis purchasers voluntarily participating through OCC stores under ORS 474.055.

474.055 Commission to set price and contract cannabis retailers. The commission shall sell cannabis through OCC contractors’ stores and and shall set the retail price of cannabis to generate profits for revenue to be applied to the purposes noted in ORS chapter 474 and to minimize incentives to purchase cannabis elsewhere or to purchase cannabis for resale or for removal to other states.

474.065 Qualifications of purchasers and licensees, effect of conviction.

(1) To be qualified to purchase, cultivate, or process cannabis, a person must be over 21 years of age and not have been convicted of sale of cannabis to minors or convicted under this chapter of unlicensed cultivation or sale of cannabis.

(2) Conviction for cultivation or sale of cannabis to other than minors, when committed prior to the effective date of this chapter, shall not be grounds for denial of an application for a license under this chapter.

(3) The cultivation and possession of up to 24 cannabis plants and 24 ounces for personal, noncommercial use by an adult shall not require a license nor registration.

474.075 Disposition of license fees and profits from sale of cannabis by state.

(1) The commission shall collect license fees which shall be calculated and continually appropriated to defray the commission’s administrative costs of issuing licenses under this chapter and the Attorney General’s costs of litigation in defense of the validity of this chapter’s provisions and in defense of persons subjected to criminal or civil liability for actions licensed or required under this chapter.

(2) All money from the sale of cannabis shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to a cannabis account, from which sufficient money shall be continually appropriated:

(a) To reimburse the commission for the costs of purchasing, processing, testing, grading, shipping, and selling cannabis; of regulating, inspecting, and auditing licensees; and of research studies required by this chapter; and,

(b) To reimburse the Attorney General’s office for costs of enforcing this chapter’s criminal provisions.

(c) To reimburse OCC contractors for their expenses and labor with 15 percent of gross sales.

(3) All money remaining in the cannabis account after reimbursement of the related commission and Attorney General costs shall be profits which the State Treasurer shall distribute quarterly as follows:

(a) Ninety percent shall be credited to the state’s general fund to finance state programs.

(b) Seven percent shall be credited to the Department of Human Resources and shall be continually appropriated to fund various drug abuse treatment programs on demand.

(c) One percent shall be credited to create and fund an agricultural state committee for the promotion of Oregon hemp fiber, protein and oil crops and associated industries. This new state committee shall be named the “Oregon Hemp Fiber and Food Committee.”

(d) One percent shall be credited to create and fund an agricultural state committee to develop and promote biodiesel fuel production from hemp seeds. This new state committee shall be named the “Oregon Hemp Biodiesel Committee.”

(e) One percent shall be distributed to the state’s school districts, appropriated by enrollment, and shall be continually appropriated to fund a drug education program which shall:

(I) Emphasize a citizen’s rights and duties under our social compact and to explain to students how drug abusers might injure the rights of others by failing to fulfill such duties;

(II) Persuade students to decline to consume psychoactive substances by providing them with accurate information about the threat these drugs pose to their mental and physical development; and,

(III) Persuade students that if, as adults, they choose to consume psychoactive substances, they must nevertheless responsibly fulfill all duties they owe others.

474.085 Commission to establish psychoactive concentrations of cannabinoids. The commission, based on findings made in consultation with medical experts and cannabis and hemp farmers to cannabinoid concentrations which produce psychoactivity, the economics of residual cannabis extraction, and strains of hemp that produce better quality and quantity of fiber, protein and oil, shall establish reasonable concentrations of cannabinoids deemed psychoactive under this chapter.

474.095 Commission to set standards, test purity, grade potency of cannabis, label contents.
(1) The commission shall set standards which the commission shall apply:

(a) To test and reject cannabis containing adulterants in concentrations known to harm people; and,

(b) To grade cannabis potency by measuring the concentrations of psychoactive cannabinoids it contains.

(2) The commission shall require processors and retailers to affix to cannabis packages a label which shall bear the state seal, a certification of purity, a grade of potency, the date of harvest, a warning as to the potential for abuse, and notice of laws prohibiting resale, removal from the state, public consumption, and provision and sale to minors.

474.105 Commission may limit purchases. The commission may limit the quantity of cannabis purchased by a person at one time or over any length of time and may refuse to sell cannabis to any person who violates this chapter’s provisions or abuses cannabis within the meaning of ORS 474.005(1).

474.115 Unlicensed cultivation for sale, removal from the state, penalties. Cultivation for sale, removal from the state for sale, and sale of cannabis, without commission authority, shall be Class C felonies.

474.125 Sale or provision to minors, penalties, exception. The sale of cannabis to minors shall be a Class B felony, and gratuitous provision of cannabis to minors shall be a Class A misdemeanor, except when to a minor over 18 years of age under the same conditions provided by ORS 471.030(1) for alcohol.

474.135 Fine as additional penalty. In addition to other penalties and in lieu of any civil remedy, conviction of sale or unlicensed cultivation for sale under ORS 474.115 or 474.125 shall be punishable by a fine which the court shall determine will deprive an offender of any profits from the criminal activity.

474.145 Acquisition by minors, penalty. Except as provided by ORS 474.125, the purchase, attempt to purchase, possession, or acquisition of cannabis by a person under 21 years of age shall be a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

474.155 Public consumption prohibited, penalty, exception. Except where prominent signs permit and minors are neither admitted nor employed, public consumption of cannabis shall be a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

474.205 Commission to study methods of use, potential for abuse, establish cannabis levels for presumption of impairment. The commission, in consultation with medical experts and by grants to accredited research facilities, shall:

(a) Study methods of use and the potential for, and ill effects of, abuse of cannabis, the possible damage of throat and lungs from inhaling cannabis smoke, less harmful methods of administration, including but not limited to filtration of smoke and non-combustive vaporization of the psychoactive agents in cannabis, and shall report its findings in pamphlets distributed at OCC stores; and,

(b) Study cannabis impairment and, if practicable, shall establish by rule levels of cannabinoids and impairment above which a person shall be presumed impaired.

474.215 Presumption of negligence. In civil cases, a rebuttable presumption of negligence shall arise upon clear and convincing evidence that a person is found to be impaired by cannabis at the time of an accident and if the person’s actions materially contributed to the cause of injury.

474.305 Disclosure of names and addresses prohibited. Information on applicants, licensees, and purchasers under this chapter shall not be disclosed except upon the person’s request.

474.315 Attorney General’s duties. The Attorney General shall vigorously defend this Act and any person prosecuted for acts licensed under this chapter, propose a federal and/or international act to remove impediments to this chapter, deliver the proposed federal and/or international act to each member of Congress and/or international organization, and urge adoption of the proposed federal and/or international act through all legal and appropriate means.

474.325 Effect. This Act shall take effect on November 11, 2014. Any section of this Act being held invalid as to any person or circumstance shall not affect the application of any other section of this Act that can be given full or partial effect without the invalid section or application. If any law or entity of any type whatsoever is held to impede this chapter’s full effect, unimpeded provisions shall remain in effect and the impeded provisions shall regain effect upon the impediments removal.