The Cannabis Program would like to provide an update with respect to Portland cannabis regulations.
On Wed. April 12, Portland City Council passed to a second reading a minor code language change that would allow Marijuana Producers and Processors to use a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy to satisfy permitting requirements in some cases. As you may know, Producers and Processors must currently provide final permitting from the Bureau of Development Services for their intended use before receiving a City of Portland Marijuana Regulatory License, and before being allowed to operate.
This proposed code language change is just one step that will help some business owners get licensed in a timely manner, while ensuring that businesses that carry a greater level of potential risk are safe before beginning operations. There will be other changes and more opportunities for public comment on those changes in the coming weeks and months.
The Cannabis Program at ONI, Commissioner Eudaly's office, and interim ONI director David Austin understand that more communication and discussion with the cannabis industry and other stakeholders is necessary to ensure that concerns are being addressed.
To that end, Austin and the Cannabis Program are organizing a series of regular, ongoing meetings with cannabis business owners and industry representatives to ensure that the discussion around Portland's cannabis regulations continue, and that an action plan is put in place. These meetings will begin next week. It's imperative to find effective ways to strike the balance between getting licensed quickly, and ensuring spaces that carry a greater level of risk are safe before beginning operations.
To reiterate: In the coming weeks and months, there will be additional changes to Portland’s cannabis regulations to better strike that balance. These changes may include ways to better distinguish between businesses that carry a greater level of risk and those that don’t, or using some other mechanism (besides final permitting or a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) to ensure that businesses with a greater level of risk are safe to operate before being granted a license. These conversations are ongoing, and some of those ideas may change.
When Portland City Council passed Portland's cannabis regulations in 2015, it was Council's intent that cannabis regulations ought to adapt and change as the City continues learning, and as we see the impact of those regulations on the community and on the cannabis industry.
Commissioner Eudaly and the Cannabis Program hopes that the code language change passed to a second reading on Wed. April 12 demonstrates our commitment to honoring that intent.
Thank you all, and as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our program (at 503-823-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions!