This just in!
According to the OLCC, “The packaging and labeling rules for recreational and medical marijuana will change in June 2016.” While updated rules are commonplace in the cannabis industry today, this one could be very bad for some businesses looking to open their doors in the next few months. How could it be bad for businesses you ask? Because of the impending change, the OLCC will temporarily stop accepting all packaging and labeling applications effective immediately. This means that if you are a company looking to open up soon, you may have to wait longer than you would like to submit paperwork and then get it approved.
All is not doom and gloom though. A revamped packaging and labeling applications system will be activated on Monday, August 1, 2016. Hopefully this will be less confusing and quicker than the current system the OLCC is canning. The OLCC is taking these steps now to minimize confusion because of the evolving rules, and to reduce replicative costs for businesses developing labeling and packaging.
While it may seem nice that the OLCC is attempting to manage repeat costs for new businesses (especially since they plan to include an online system for accepting and processing applications) the freeze on applications will be a big stumbling block for businesses looking to open before the website actually shows up.
Once the website is up and running, recreational marijuana license applicants and licensees will be able to obtain an individual account for the online packaging and labeling application process. This website will be similar to the state’s other website for the recreational marijuana license applications according to the OLCC.
The OLCC has created a process to evaluate packaging and labeling to determine if it meets the requirements set out by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the OLCC. Recreational licensees who hold a Producer, Processor, Wholesale, or Retailer license and are packaging and/or labeling products for ultimate sale to a consumer must receive approval from the Commission prior to selling or transferring any marijuana item to a consumer. Although, this only applies to marijuana items for sale to a consumer so transfers between licensees will remain unchanged. As for medical registrants who are packaging and/or labeling products for ultimate sale to a consumer, they must receive approval from the Commission before October 1, 2016.
What this all boils down to is a freeze on approval for new companies that sell cannabis products to a consumer. Overall, established businesses and consumers are unlikely to be effected much. The people who will wither under this are entrepreneurs just getting ready to open a new business and employees who will have to wait a few months before starting work at their new dream job. In the end, the system should allow for a more streamlined process that is easier and cheaper to manage than the previous system.
How do you think this will play out? Let us know if this will affect you or someone you know in the comments. Thanks for reading.