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Sept. 21, 2017 - Changes to Portland's Cannabis Regulations

portland skyline

Yesterday (Wed. Sept. 20, 2017), Portland City Council passed some changes to Portland’s cannabis regulations that take effect IMMEDIATELY!

These changes will help some Marijuana Processors get licensed faster, while still ensuring that they’re on their way to getting their location properly permitted.

It will also ensure that licensed Marijuana Retailers can continue operating and can renew their license, even if a school moves within 1,000 feet of their business.

The changes are as follows:

The City will now use the same Processor endorsements used by the OLCC (Extracts, Concentrates, Topicals, and Edibles), and the City of Portland’s Cannabis Program’s licensing requirements for Processors of Concentrates, Topicals, and Edibles have changed.

      • Processors of Concentrates, Topicals, and Edibles will now only need to show that all applicable permits have been ISSUED, rather than FINAL, for their initial license with the Cannabis Program.
      • Processors of Extracts still need to show that all applicable permits are FINAL.
      • All Processor types will need to show that all applicable permits are FINAL upon renewal, one year after their initial license.
      • “Applicable permits” may include, but is NOT limited to, commercial building permitting (if the location requires a change in occupancy, a change in use, or other structural changes), mechanical permitting, electrical permitting, tank permits, and other permits needed to ensure the space and the equipment being used is safe and appropriate for its intended use.
      • NOTE: Regardless of the Cannabis Program’s change in licensing requirements, all applicants and licensees must remain in compliance with all fire, building, and zoning codes.

Marijuana Retailers who have been licensed by the State and the City can now continue to operate and renew their license, even if a school opens within 1,000 feet of the Retailer:

  • This does NOT apply to Retailers whose licenses have been revoked.
  • This does NOT apply to Retailers if the ownership of the business changes by 51% or more.
  • These changes match State statute and administrative rule. Portland City Council made clear that Portland would like to see the State change its rules to allow this “grandfathering” to apply even if Retailers change their ownership by 51% or more. If that changes at the State level, the City will re-evaluate and possibly change its cannabis regulations.

Cannabis Program staff can now request to inspect APPLICANTS, not just LICENSEES:

  • Cannabis Program staff still need permission to inspect a location.

Minor cleanup to definitions:

  • Some definition cleanup that the State did a while back, and we’re reflecting those changes now (no changes of substance).

 

What does this mean for Portland cannabis businesses right now?

If you’re a Processor of Concentrates, Topicals, or Edibles, and have applied for a City license, CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR PERMITTING with the Bureau of Development Services!

  • If your business has all applicable permits ISSUED for your location, you may be eligible to receive your City license!
  • Please reach out to the Cannabis Program (503-823-9333 or cannabis@portlandoregon.gov) if you believe your business meets the City’s licensing requirements after this change.
  • REMEMBER: These same permits need to be FINAL when you apply for renewal, one year after your initial license.

If you’re a Marijuana Retailer who has been licensed, you don’t need to do anything!

  • If a school opens within 1,000 feet of your business, and you’ve gotten your State and City license, you will be able to continue operating and get your license renewed UNLESS your license is revoked, or your businesses’ ownership changes by 51% or more, or your license becomes invalid for some other reason.

The City is excited to continue evaluating and changing our cannabis regulations as we learn more, as the industry changes, and as State rules change.

When Oregonians passed Measure 91, they voted for legal, regulated cannabis, and expected these businesses to operate safely. That means making the process to get legal and regulated as clear and predictable as possible. If the regulations are clear and the rules are fair, it’s more likely that businesses will get legal and get licensed while making sure they’re operating safely.

Questions or Comments?

Please call the Cannabis Program at 503-823-9333, or email us at cannabis@portlandoregon.gov!

 

Sept. 1, 2017 - Potential Changes to Cannabis Regulations

COuncil Sign

Portland City Council will consider changes to Portland's cannabis regulations (PCC 14B.130) during the 2pm session this Wed. Sept. 6!

Click here for a link to the Council Clerk's office that shows next week's agenda.

Both the Cannabis Program and Commissioner Eudaly's office are committed to the ongoing and thoughtful re-evaluation of our policies and requirements. These changes represent many months of conversations, meetings, and briefings with the cannabis industry, community voices, the Fire Bureau, the Bureau of Development Services, elected officials, and others. We are striving to strike a balance between expediency and public safety, to ensure business can plan for the future, and to allow our program to most effectively protect neighbors and the legal, regulated industry from illegal cannabis activities.


The potential changes are as follows:

Create endorsement differentiation in code language; make change so that ONLY Cannabinoid Extract Processors will need to show final Certificate of Occupancy (or TCO) and all additional final permitting needed for extraction or other mechanical equipment, before obtaining INITIAL LICENSE or UPON RENEWAL from Cannabis Program:

  • All other Processor types (concentrates, topicals, and edibles) will NO LONGER need to show FINAL Certificate of Occupancy (or TCO), or additional final permitting needed for other mechanical equipment upon INITIAL LICENSE.
  • Other Processor license types will still need to show that permits have been ISSUED upon INITIAL LICENSE to ensure the building is in the process of getting up to code.
  • All Processor types will need to show FINAL permitting UPON RENEWAL.
  • Change applies ONLY to Cannabis Program requirements; business owners still must follow Fire Bureau and BDS requirements, including obtaining permits for building improvements made to businesses that have already obtained a license.

Mirror OLCC’s grandfathering allowance for existing, licensed Marijuana Retailers within 1,000 feet of a NEW school that opens AFTER the Retailer is licensed:

  • Code change is needed to ensure legal, licensed Marijuana Retailers (and Medical Dispensaries) that have followed all requirements and are licensed will NOT have to shut down when a new school opens within 1,000 feet of their location.

Allow Cannabis Program code compliance staff to inspect premises of APPLICANTS, not just LICENSEES:

  • Will help in cases where substantiation of unlicensed activity taking place is needed. 

 After the Sept. 6 meeting, what happens next?

  • If they vote as such, Council will consider the ordinance a week later on Sept. 13.
  • After the Sept. 13 meeting, if Council votes to adopt the ordinance, it will go into effect 30 days later.
  • More information about how City Council works can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/9113

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at 503-823-9333 or at cannabis@portlandoregon.gov!

July 27, 2017 - Renewing your Marijuana Regulatory License

July 1st, 2017 marked two years since Measure 91 went into effect, legalizing recreational cannabis in Oregon. We've all worked together through the first year of Portland's licensing processes, and for some businesses it's time to renew.

Click here for Renewal Form.There is a lot more information on the Renewal Form, so please read it carefully. Give yourself lots of time to prepare and submit your renewal application!

Here are a few important things to know:

  • You don't need to come to the office! Applications and fees can be mailed in.

  • You will receive one reminder notice from the Cannabis Program 60-90 days before your license expires.

  • Renewal applications are due 21 days before your current license expires. You must submit a complete application prior to expiration of your license. If you do not submit a complete application by the deadline, you may be required to cease operations. See the renewal form for more information.

 We want to help all Portland cannabis businesses operate in compliance with local regulations, so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! 

June 28, 2017 - Roundup: Assistance and Resources for Cannabis Businesses

House with large checkboxes next to it. Some boxes are checked off

We know navigating the permitting process can be overwhelming. The Cannabis Program has been working with the Bureau of Development Services to provide more support to cannabis businesses through this process. We have published a lot of information about recent changes and services available - here is a roundup of those announcements with links to more information!

As always, feel free to contact the Cannabis Program at 503-823-9333 or cannabis@portlandoregon.gov if you have any questions!

Temporary Certificates of Occupancy now accepted

Effective May 19, 2017, Temporary Certificates of Occupancy (TCOs) from Marijuana Producer and Processor applicants seeking their Marijuana Regulatory License from the Cannabis Program. NOTE: Producers and Processors must still finalize all mechanical permits necessary to operate as a Producer or Processor before being issued a Marijuana Regulatory License.

TCOs are generally only available to those facilities that have an “issued” Certificate of Occupancy permit from the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and have met all fire and life safety requirements. If you believe this applies to your facility, please contact Mitch Nickolds with BDS at 503-823-1054 as soon as possible.

More information in blog post from April 24

BDS Program Guide to Temporary Certificates of Occupancy

Code Guide for Cannabis Businesses

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services has created a code guide for cannabis businesses - Marijuana Producers and Marijuana Processors, specifically - who are obtaining permitting for their building.

More information in blog post from May 23

BDS Code Guide for Cannabis Facilities

BDS Assistance for Cannabis Business Permitting

Cannabis business owners can now schedule in-person meetings with permitting experts at BDS to discuss the permitting process specific to the cannabis industry, including life safety requirements, mechanical permitting, applicable fire and building code, and more. The meetings will begin on June 26th, 2017 for less complex projects like Marijuana Retailers and Medical Dispensaries, and June 29th, 2017 for more complex projects like Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Wholesalers.

These meetings may be helpful whether you’re starting a new cannabis business or making changes at an existing facility.

More information in blog post from June 13.

Reminder about operating

As a reminder, no Medical Dispensary or recreational marijuana business may operate in Portland before receiving a City of Portland Marijuana Regulatory License. If you have any questions (about this or anything else), please give us a ring at 503-823-9333 or shoot us an email at cannabis@portlandoregon.gov!

June 13, 2017 - Assistance for Cannabis Business Permitting

Image of building blueprint with pencil

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services (BDS) has announced a new service to assist Portland cannabis businesses with the building permitting process.

Cannabis business owners can now schedule in-person meetings (to begin in the coming weeks) with permitting experts at BDS to discuss the permitting process specific to the cannabis industry, including life safety requirements, mechanical permitting, applicable fire and building code, and more. The meetings will begin on June 26th, 2017 for less complex projects like Marijuana Retailers and Medical Dispensaries, and June 29th, 2017 for more complex projects like Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Wholesalers.

These meetings may be helpful whether you’re starting a new cannabis business or making changes at an existing facility.

More information – including how to schedule, applicable fees, and required documents – can be found at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/643113.

You can also find information about permitting for cannabis businesses in the BDS Code Guide for cannabis businesses.