It was another year of milestones in Oregon’s long history with marijuana. Here are some of the biggest stories of 2015, as reported by Noelle Crombie of the Oregonian:
How potent are marijuana edibles? Lab tests yield surprising results: Oregon assures consumers that medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products undergo a battery of lab tests for everything from pesticides to potency before landing on dispensary shelves. Yet when it comes to potency that promise is largely an empty one, a three-month investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive found.
An investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive finds lax state rules, inconsistent lab practices and inaccurate test results put pesticide-contaminated marijuana concentrates onto dispensary shelves.
Though the Oregon Liquor Control Commission won’t launch recreational sales until late in 2016, the Oregon Legislature this year approved a temporary early recreational sales at regulated dispensaries. Dispensaries reported brisk business on Oct. 1, the first day of recreational sales.
Pot won’t be for sale in many Oregon cities: Some communities — ranging from Portland suburbs to cities in eastern Oregon — are keeping the door shut to storefront pot sales of any kind. In many towns, marijuana remains shunned by the majority and is seen as something that shouldn’t be given any official stamp of approval. And even where voters agreed to legalize marijuana, there are worries that retail sales will encourage youth consumption, attract crime or tarnish their commercial districts.
Southern Oregon pot harvest got underway, but some growers wary of new market: One year after Oregonians voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the landscape has shifted dramatically in rural southern Oregon, center stage for the state’s outdoor marijuana economy. The number of large-scale medical marijuana grow sites has skyrocketed in Josephine and Jackson counties in the past year, far outpacing the rest of the state. Many of the region’s outdoor growers hustled to plant the hottest strains to supply dispensaries in Portland, where marijuana grown indoors has traditionally dominated the market.
Some felony pot convictions can be sealed under new Oregon law: Oregon has long allowed people convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies to ask to have those convictions set aside or sealed. But the Oregon Legislature this year made two additional and significant changes to the way the state deals with marijuana: It reduced most marijuana-related offenses, including growing and selling cannabis, and made it easier for people to have old pot convictions set aside.
Rules for Oregon’s marijuana industry approved: The liquor control commission regulations impose a seed-to-sale tracking system on marijuana destined for the recreational market. The rules are effective in January. That’s when the state begins accepting applications for licenses.
Oregon stops issuing industrial hemp licenses: The Oregon Department of Agriculture in August temporarily stopped issuing licenses for hemp, citing a range of complex policy issues that emerged during the program’s first year. Officials said they hope to resolve the problems in time for next year’s growing season.
We are glad to be able to support compliance in Oregon, and look forward to helping the industry further in 2016!