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At 5:57pm 10/8/15 OLCC released the following info via email:
On Friday, October 9, 2015 the Commission will hold a public hearing on the temporary rules, even though it is not required, because it wants to have additional public feedback.  The Commission is scheduled to decide whether or not to accept the DRAFT temporary rules at its October 22, 2015 meeting.

For those of us unable to attend, OLCC is graciously accepting written responses via email:
[email protected]
or by mail to: 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Portland, OR 97222

By Following the email link above, an email will automatically open in your mail application addressed to OLCC, with the subject: “Recreational Marijuana Temporary Rules Comments” and the following letter:

Mr. Rob Patridge and Mr. Steve Marks
Oregon Liquor Control Commission
9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
Portland, OR

Dear Commissioners:

Thank you for work you have been doing and for giving me the opportunity to express my feelings about the rule making process. I am writing about the draft rules you released October 6th. Having reviewed the proposed rules I have several concerns. The central issue is that these rules will not work for small family farms. By creating a system that requires major financial backing to participate, small family farmers will be marginalized. The items of concern are as follows:

•    As stated on Page 32: “If the Commission approves the application and issues a producer license to the applicants the licensees may not possess more than the amount of usable marijuana or marijuana plants permitted under ORS 475.300 to 475.346 unless the licensed premises ceases to be registered as a grow site with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).”

This makes a mockery of the offer for an “opt-in.” After complying with all the onerous regulations set forth in this document a farmer who chooses to provide medicine to vulnerable Oregonians will be able to grow 48-96 plants while all the other farms that don’t do that good work get up to 2 acres of flowering plants. I strongly disagree that family farms that choose to support sick Oregonians should be discriminated against in this way. There is no reason at all that the OHA approved plants can’t simply be placed within the canopy limits and treated as the other plants. There is also no reason to impose possession limits on opt-in farmer that don’t apply to recreational farms.

•    As stated on Page 16: (5) A licensee may not permit: Anyone under the age of 21 on a licensed premises except as described in section (6) of this rule; or On-site consumption of a marijuana item, alcohol, or other intoxicant by any individual. (6) Notwithstanding section (5)(a) of this rule, a minor, other than a licensee’s employee, who has a legitimate business purpose for being on the licensed premises, may be on the premises for a limited period of time in order to accomplish the legitimate business purpose. For example, a minor plumber may be on the premises in order to make a repair. 

This will prohibit family farmers from passing the craft onto their adult children. There is no similar regulation in the brewery or winery model. On-site consumption should be allowed, just as it is in wineries and distilleries.  Cannabis is now legal and farmers should be a free to enjoy cannabis on their farms as corn growers are.

Furthermore, if the license states that our whole farm is the “premises”  are our children not allowed to leave our primary residence to play in the yard?  Or, will having children on our farm essentially exclude us from farming cannabis? Perhaps a statement defining only the actual cultivation area to be under restriction is needed.

Even this concept of a restricted area varies from other outdoor farming, considering that cannabis is only in a mature and psychoactive state for about 3 weeks out of the year.  I understand the spirit of the rule and agree that concern is applicable in a year-round industrial or commercial facility.  However, in a rural family farm it effectively removes the “family” part.

•    Also on page 16 it states: “The general public is not permitted on a licensed premises, except for the licensed premises of a retailer.” 

This prohibits farm tours similar to those offered at wineries. These tours offer a potentially massive source of tourist income for Oregon and will help demystify the process for consumers. Blocking that potential is wrong for Oregon we have great opportunities, especially in the S. Oregon region nestled next to picturesque valleys, orchards and vineyards. We have breweries, and wineries, why not “herberies”?

A retailer license will allow the public into a premises but I believe that garden tours and public areas on our farms would be an attractive draw for tourism.  Again, since the product is only in the mature and psycho-active state for about 3 weeks a year this rule seems overly restrictive for rural farmers.  Are there similar restrictions on wine and beer makers who have public areas?

•    On page 14 the rules for applying for a change to a licensed premises are laid out. It states “(4) If the Commission denies the change the licensee must surrender the license or the Commission will propose to suspend or revoke the license.” 

The license should only be revoked if the licensee makes changes that were unapproved by the commission.

•    Page 17: Signage “a) At every entrance to a licensed premises signs that read:(A) “No Minors Permitted Anywhere on This Premises”; and(B) “No On-Site Consumption of Marijuana”; and(b) At all areas of ingress or egress to a limited access area a sign that reads: “Do Not Enter – Limited Access Area – Access Limited to Licensed Personnel and Escorted Visitors.”

Being required to post these signs at the entrance of an entire farm???  Perhaps in the actual grow and or processing areas. However, restricting a 30 acre farm for the 2 acre cannabis grow is an over-reach.

•    Page 21: “(1) A licensed premises must have a fully operational security alarm system.”

As this is worded, this means every building on my property will have to be alarmed. Responsible growers and farmers already secure all areas related to storage and processing of the cannabis. OLCC requiring it on every building is far-reaching and expensive. Has anyone thought out just how much of an expense and burden it would be to have multiple rental units wired with motion sensors and a panic buttons?

Current security including fortified perimeters, 24-hour monitoring and K9’s has been adequate for our rural environment. Please consider the effectiveness of our current measure before creating an expensive burden.

•    The video surveillance detailed on pages 22-24, the fence that is “at least ten (10) feet high” and the constantly illuminated entrances are not good matches for rural family farms. 

We’ve been successfully protecting our crops for the last decade with security measures that make sense on a case-by-case basis. As the value of cannabis declines fewer security measures will be needed, not more. These security systems are very costly and will prevent my farm from participating in the regulated system. The waivers offered on page 24 are not sufficient. These regulations are designed for large industrial producers and asking small family farmers to apply for an exemption to each onerous regulation will keep them from participating.

Furthermore, It should be considered that a growing area that is completely obscured from public view by either distance, natural flora or topography be exempted from the solid 10′ fence.  An 8′ security fence should be considered sufficient, as the only concern in this situation is physical security and not public view.

Artificial lighting will interfere with proper plant maturation in sungrown environments.  In outdoor growing areas, infrared or green lighting should be considered only for the purpose of illuminating entry and egress areas and not interfere with plant maturation.


•    Page 30 states that when a farmer applies any pesticide or fertilizer to a cannabis plant they much record “The unique identification tag number of the cultivation batch or individual mature marijuana plant to which the product was applied, or if applied to all plants on the licensed premises a statement to that affect.” 

This is an onerous requirement with no respect for the way farms are actually run.

•    The METRC system described on pages 59-61 will be a huge cost to small family farmers.

Continuous broadband internet access is unavailable in many rural areas and the daily reconciling of inventories is very onerous. Many farmers only sell cannabis on a monthly basis, being required to check the inventory daily when it’s sitting untouched in a safe or vault for weeks represents a large extra burden to the small farmer.

•    State and Local Safety Inspections
1.  Compliance during inspection should only be limited to the areas of my farm involved with cannabis production and or processing.  Current wording would allow an inspector to inspect the entire “premises”.  As this is currently written the “premises” encompasses my entire farm including numerous rental units and outbuildings, which have nothing to do with cannabis production.  This section should be amended to state: in cases where the “premises” hosts other non-regulated activity, only areas of the “premises” directly involved with cannabis production be made available for inspection.

•    Recreational Marijuana Producers – Definitions
1. Canopy:  For an outdoor grower, the way this is worded greatly reduces the actual space he/she is allowed to cultivate.  Since outdoor plants are not usually planted right next to each other, as is the case for indoor cultivation, but are usually spaced anywhere from 8′ to 25′ apart to allow maximum light exposure and space to grow.  Measuring the “canopy” by the outside borders of the plants leaves as much as a third of the “canopy” space uncultivated.  Consider this fact and increase the parity ratio to at least 9 outdoor – 1 indoor.

There is still no method detailed for a farmer to show their harvest to a retailer. The system outlined forces farmers to rely on wholesalers to get their product to market rather allowing them to build direct relationships with stores. Cannabis must be batch-tested and stored in a way that promotes the ability to see and smell the final product.

Farmers should be allowed to file an open transport manifest, which is completed if a retailer purchases their medicine and which is reentered into the farm inventory if no sale is made. Otherwise farmers will be at the mercy of middle men and unable to get the full value of their crops.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Oregonians have an expectation for the OLCC to draft rules that are as inclusive as possible. The current rules draft is not in a spirit that encourages and legitimizes rural, hard-working, family farmers. Many of us have offered advice in the RAC as well as in your public listening tours throughout the state. Please take the above outlined points into consideration and amend the drafted rules. Our suggestions will increase the success of the market, rural family producers and ensure state-wide abundance and revenue.

An Oregon SunGrown Family Farmer

Please fee free to edit the letter as you see fit or even print and mail a copy. 

(Click “letter” to download)

Thank you for your involvement and support!

OSGG Board of Directors 

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