Even though legal sales of recreational marijuana have been happening in Oregon since October of last year, things still aren’t quite finished being settled as far as regulations go. Currently, recreational marijuana is being sold by medical dispensaries – but by the end of the year, the industry will be turned over to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
In the next 35 days, a number of different policies will be considered for approval by the Senate Committee. The first one to be addressed and passed was a law that previously required those entering the Oregon cannabis industry to have been a legal resident of the state for at least 2 years prior to application.
The new provisions will allow anyone to invest in the industry, regardless of their permanent residency location. This opens up a lot of opportunities for anyone who has been considering becoming a part of this industry but couldn’t because of that requirement.
This decision, among many others, is coming just in time seeing as people are already applying for licenses to open dispensaries and other operations within the industry.
“People are making decisions and (filing) license applications right now, even as we speak,” she (Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick) said before the vote.
This decision affects a wide number of people – larger companies claim they need outside investors to inflate the industry – smaller businesses fear being squeezed out by large companies snagging up large out of state investors. In the end, this will hopefully prove to have been beneficial for both ends of the spectrum, helping everyone get the funding they need.
The next bill up for discussion would allow recreational marijuana shops sell to medical marijuana patients’ tax free. This would be an extremely beneficial move for them – if a patient lives much closer to a recreational shop than a medicinal shop they should be able to purchase the same products at the same rates they would otherwise, regardless of location.
The same bill would also allow recreational shops to sell marijuana infused edibles and concentrates as a part of the early sales program – currently edibles and concentrates only available to medical marijuana patients in Oregon.
Other topics that are soon to come up include allowing medical marijuana patients to use a completed application in place of a marijuana card at dispensaries until their card is issued, allowing recreational shops to claim business expenses which (in any other business) would normally be deductions on federal taxes on their state income taxes and providing a discount on annual medical marijuana cards for veterans.
There is a lot of improvements and changes coming to Oregon’s newly growing marijuana industry over the next month. Hopefully the legislators will make do what will be best for the industry, patients, and consumers alike.