This page contains links and documents about laws and current or past legislation concerning cannabis and the cannabis industry.
Jeff Sessions rescinds Cole Memo!
The short answer to the question of what does US Attorney Jeff Sessions’ Memo mean is: DON”T PANIC.
Jeff Sessions’ Memo issued today did two things and more importantly, did not do a third.
First, it rescinded the Cole Memos that many people assumed offered them protection from Federal law enforcement. Sessions rescinded the Cole Memos stating that they were not necessary as the U.S. Attorneys for the various districts have always had discretion when pursuing prosecutions relating to marijuana crimes.
Second, the Session’s memo spelled out a few of the longstanding guidelines for Federal prosecutions. It stated that the “Department of Justice principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations, including law enforcement priorities set by the attorney general, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of the particular crimes on the community.” The Sessions Memo closed by stating that everything in the Cole Memos were un-needed as they were already covered by over 40 years of well-established principles.
The Cole Memos spelled out items U.S. Attorneys could use as guidance when pursuing marijuana crimes. This guidance was based on common sense such as not crossing state lines, selling to minors or committing violent crimes associated with marijuana. These will continue to be guidelines that the U.S. Attorney’s look at when deciding what cases to prosecute.
Third, the Memo did not give any specific direction to the U.S. Attorney’s i.e. it did not tell U.S. Attorneys to go and round up cannabis businesses. That may be the most important take away from this memo.
Oregon’s local U.S. Attorney, Billy Williams, also released a statement today. It stated that their office emphasis will be on “stemming the overproduction of marijuana and the diversion of marijuana out of state, dismantling criminal organizations and thwarting violent crime in our communities.” This is a reiteration of what our local U.S. Attorney has always stated.
The Rohrabacher-Farr/Blumenauer amendment prohibiting the Department of Justice from spending money on enforcing marijuana laws in medical marijuana states is still effective. While, this needs to be renewed at the end of January 2018, at this time, it looks as it will be.
It is my belief that the purpose of his Memo was to sow confusion and uncertainty in the industry, especially with California coming online. People licensed with the State of Oregon as a medical grower or OLCC license holder who are following all State laws and administrative rules should not have anything to worry about.
We recommend that people write their U.S. Representatives and Senators asking them to change Federal law to allow State legal marijuana businesses.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is here: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is here https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact
House representatives can be contacted through this site: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/OR#representatives
As always, if you have specific questions regarding your business, please call to set an appointment.
Paul, Kristie, and Trevor
OAR 825-025 Recreational Marijuana Rules: Bill & Technical Package (12/28/17)
The 2017 Oregon Legislature adopted several bills during the 2017 legislative session. In response, the Commission voted to initiate rulemaking at the July 2017 Commission meeting to amend Division 25 Recreational Marijuana rules. Specifically, House Bill 2198, Senate Bill 56, 1015 & 1057 each require significant changes to Division 25 of Chapter 845.
Further, the Commission has continued to learn lessons about the emerging recreational marijuana market. In response, staff has made technical amendments in response to market realities. This rulemaking package looks to adopt the legislative changes and the changes made by the Commission in response to lessons learned.
On December 18, 2017, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission voted to amend Division 25.
This package makes a large amount of changes to implement the aforementioned issues. However, please be advised that this package does not encompass all of Division 25 of Chapter 845 of the Oregon Administrative rules.
A PDF of the rule changes included in the Bill & Technical Package is available for download here.
The entirety of Division 25 can be found at:
The rule amendments are effective December 28, 2017. The Commission expects the revised rules will post to the Secretary of States website by January 1, 2018.
A graphical representation of the effectiveness of Joshephine County Regulation 2017-002
11/30/17 Common OLCC Regulation Violations to be enforced more strictly in 2018
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission ("Commission") has issued a reminder to licensees to comply with Commission rules as we enter the second year of recreational marijuana in Oregon. These reminders are based on common violations that the Commission has seen over the last year. Please be advised that the Commission will be stepping up its enforcement efforts and will be doing random inspections to ensure compliance with security and, for retailers, legal sales to customers. Please review the following to see some of the pitfalls that plagued licensees recently:
45 Day Harvest Packaging:
Outdoor producers who’ve completed their 2017 fall harvest need to make sure they’ve segregated their harvest lots of dried flower to ensure compliance with OLCC Division 25 Rules 845-025-2080. Each harvest lot needs to be packaged separately with a CTS (Metrc) User Identification Tag linked to each plant and recorded in CTS within 45 days of harvest. Outdoor producers should remember to as they approach the end of the 45 day harvest package window, they should repackage marijuana flower and record the weight in CTS to avoid compliance action.
30 Day Video Backup:
The Commission will begin spot compliance checks on licensees, with a primary focus on security. Security surveillance failures, such as failing to include backup video from video surveillance systems, is a Category I violation, which may result in license revocation. All licensees are required to have off site (away from the licensed premises) back up recordings from their video surveillance system for a minimum of 30 days. You can do this by uploading to the cloud or to a physical location away from the licensed premises. OLCC Division 25 Rules 845-025-1450.
No Minors on the Licensed Premises:
In December, the Commission will begin Minor Decoy Operations at licensed marijuana retailers around the state. Make sure no minors, including a licensee’s own minor children, are on the licensed premises for any reason. OLCC Division 25 Rules 845-025-1230.
Daily Purchase Limit:
The Commission will also check to make sure no retailers are selling more than the allowable daily limit to individual customers. There’s a daily limit to the amount of recreational marijuana that a retailer can sell to an individual customer. OLCC Rules 845-025-2800.
Marijuana Worker Permit:
In August 2017 the Commission temporarily allowed growers to hire employees who had submitted an application for a worker permit. After December 15, all employees must have approved worker permits if they are handling marijuana. Refer to Compliance Education Bulletin CE2017-11.
If you have any questions, please call or email our office. Remember, if you want advice specific to your situation, contact us and schedule an appointment.
Paul, Kristie, and Trevor
Update to 2017-003
Opinion on whether participation in METRC constitutes commercial activity by Peter Gendron.
The OLCC has issued new rules concerning trimmers and wholesalers ability to offer trimming and packaging services to licensed producers. Please click the button to see a complete opinion.
OMMP Plant Limits
Draft Ordinance 2017-002
Draft of 2017-034