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

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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  • This does NOT apply to Retailers whose licenses have been revoked.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!