Oregon Cannabis Regulators Hit Pause Button on New Licenses

The OLCC said that applications that arrive after June 15th will be set aside until current ones are processed.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) workers are overwhelmed and need to clear up a backlog of license applications that keep filling up their inboxes, despite recent news that there’s already too much weed coming out of the ground in Oregon.

The OLCC said that applications that arrive after the June 15th deadline “will be set aside for processing until the OLCC processes outstanding applications and renewals in the queue.”

“In order to ensure that the OLCC is fulfilling its regulatory duties and providing timely responses to businesses in the industry, we must focus on the current participants in the system and preserve for the Oregon Legislature its consideration of the necessity for further statutory controls on marijuana licensing in 2019,” OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks said in a statement.

While this is the stated reason behind the announcement, the Portland-based Green Light Law Group wonders about the timing and the underlying motive. “The timing of the announcement so soon after the release of Oregon's US Attorney Billy Williams' enforcement priority memo expressing concern over Oregon's “overproduction” is noteworthy.”

Earlier this month, Billy J. Williams called the state’s oversupply and out-of-state trafficking his top law enforcement priorities.

Green Light speculates as to whether the OLCC’s pause in licensing will last long enough for the legislature to pass a new law limiting recreational marijuana licenses in Oregon. If indeed that is the case, they recommend get a move on if one intends to submit an application to the OLCC.

In an email to its members, the Oregon Cannabis Association said it is monitoring the situation.

“The OCA will also be seriously considering our positions going into the 2019 legislative session as they relate to improved OLCC funding, lifting the moratorium to add new licenses and the myriad of potential consequences of this temporary, and potentially more permanent, halt to licensing,” the group said.

Comments