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Aug-30-2017 20:35printcomments

Oregon Medical Marijuana Growers Must Make a Final Choice

Will they or won’t they stay registered with OMMP? The deadline looms.

Oregon cannabis
Photo by Bonnie King, Salem-News.com 2017

(SALEM, Ore.) - As you recall, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 91 in November 2014, which allowed the production, sale, and possession of recreational marijuana by adults over 21 years of age.

It didn't take long for the celebrating to die down as voters discovered that things were not as they seemed. Oregonians had been assured that there would be absolutely no changes to our very successful medical marijuana program when/if the recreational law was passed.

However, Ballot Measure 91 was a statutory, rather than a constitutional, measure. This distinction allowed the Legislature to make changes to the language of the Measure and to change Oregon's landmark medical marijuana program going forward.

A joint legislative policy committee was appointed when the 2015 Legislative Assembly convened, and they passed implementing legislation that formalized the roles of state agencies and local governments in the regulation of recreational marijuana.

Changes were also made to laws governing medical marijuana.

During the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session, the Legislature passed SB 1057 which requires Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registered grow sites, processors and dispensaries to decide to stay registered with OMMP or become licensed by OLCC.

This "choice" has affected patients very negatively. No longer are OMMP growers making room for patients, instead, they are dropping their medical grow in lieu of the high income potential of the recreational market. The patients lose.

It is mandatory that you take action, regardless of your choice. Those registrants which remain registered with OMMP will be required to track the production, processing, and transfer of all marijuana items using the OLCC Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), and they will pay another new fee, for using CTS.

Any new grow sites, processors and dispensaries that register with OMMP will be required to use the CTS.

The only exemption for CTS tracking is for patients capable of growing for themselves, with no more than 12 mature plants and 24 immature plants at their grow site. Those patient-growers are not required to track in CTS. Still, they must notify the state by the deadline of this status.

SB 1057 Decision and Tracking Requirement

Each registrant will be required to, no later than December 1, 2017, provide notice on a form prescribed by OMMP of their decision to:
  • Remain registered with OMMP, use the CTS and pay an additional fee of approximately $480 (additional info on CTS will be available in early 2018); or
  • Apply for a license with the OLCC. A complete application must be submitted to OLCC before January 1, 2018; or
  • Indicate they are a patient growing for themselves and there are no more than 12 mature plants and 24 immature plants at the grow site. A grow site where a patient is growing for themselves and where there are not more than 12 mature and 24 immature plants is exempt from CTS tracking.

How to Notify OMMP of Your Decision

GROW SITE: All growers at a grow site must collectively make the decision to remain registered with OMMP or move to OLCC and submit only one form to OMMP. Submitting more than one form for a grow site may result in registration not being renewed.

Fill out the form (CLICK HERE) with your decision and mail a copy to OMMP no later than December 1, 2017.

If OMMP does not receive notice of a decision by a grow site by December 1, 2017, the registration of all growers registered at the grow site address will not be renewed.

If a grow site notifies OMMP that it intends to apply for a license with OLCC but no application is received by OLCC by January 1, 2018, the registration of all growers registered at the grow site address will not be renewed.

If a grow site fails to comply with tracking in the CTS by July 1, 2018, the registration of all growers at the grow site address will not be renewed.

PROCESSORS & DISPENSARIES: OMMP processors and dispensaries must also make their choice, and provide notice to OMMP as outlined below, no later than December 1, 2017.

If a registered processor or dispensary decides it wants to apply with OLCC, a complete application must be submitted to OLCC before January 1, 2018.

This notice also applies to processors and dispensaries who have a pending registration. A response is required.

Fill out the form (CLICK HERE) with your decision and upload a copy to your online account no later than December 1, 2017. The form may be filled out by anyone listed as the person responsible for the processing site or dispensary, or by an owner.

Review the Deadlines:

  • No Later than December 1, 2017: Registered grow sites, medical processors, and medical dispensaries must notify OMMP if they intend to stay medical or become OLCC licensed. If no notification is received then the registration will not be renewed.
  • Before January 1, 2018: Registered growers, medical processors, and medical dispensaries that notified OMMP that they intend to move to OLCC must have submitted an application to OLCC. If no application is submitted to OLCC by the grower, processor, or dispensary then their registration will not be renewed.
  • July 1, 2018 or before: If a registered grower, medical processor, or medical dispensary decided to stay with OMMP they must start using the CTS and pay the required fee.

For more information visit: healthoregon.org/ommpcts

Sources: Oregon Health Authority; oregonlegislature.gov; healthoregon.org

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Anonymous September 1, 2017 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

Great article Bonnie!

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©2017 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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