Have you thought about moving to a state where it’s legal to grow weed in order to sell it?

You wouldn’t be the first and certainly won’t be the last. If you happen to be in Oregon, there are some rules and regulations that could derail you before you get started. The overall process can be long and difficult.

Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has finally approved the first eight Recreational Marijuana producer licenses. These are the first licenses issued under Oregon’s legalized recreational marijuana system.

The OLCC Chair Rob Patridge shared a few words about the new producers; “These licensees reflect the pioneering spirit Oregon is known for,” and “They come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and possess the entrepreneurial spirit of this industry.” These aren’t the only people who will be licensed as the OLCC Commission will continue approving license applications as they meet weekly through early June.

After June rolls around, the Commission plans to delegate authority to the OLCC Executive Director to approve licenses.  While the ED handles the approval process, the OLCC licensing effort will continue to focus on producers, especially outdoor growers.

So who are the intrepid individuals with the honor of being the first legal recreational marijuana growers in Oregon since prohibition? Let’s start by talking about what they are licensed to do first. Then we can go into who they are a little more.

The licensees approved today include Tier 1 and Tier 2 outdoor and mixed cultivation growers.  Tier 1 outdoor growers are allowed to have a plant canopy between 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, and Tier 2 outdoor growers are allowed to have a plant canopy between 20,000 to 40,000 square feet.   Mixed cultivation growers are allowed to have a combined indoor and outdoor canopy using a ratio so the total canopy does not exceed the tier designation. The licensees can start operating legally after paying their annual license fee.  The annual fee for Tier 1 growers is $3,750, and the annual fee for Tier 2 growers is $5,750.  The annual license fee for labs, processors, wholesalers and retailers is $4,750.

When asked about the applicants, Patridge said “All applicants go through rigorous scrutiny before they’re even considered for a license … They undergo criminal background checks, must receive land use approval from local governments, and be trained to use the Cannabis Tracking System which is the key public safety component for the regulated recreational marijuana system.”

What kind of “rigorous scrutiny” did the applicants have to go through? According to an OLCC news release “The applications of the licensees were reviewed by OLCC investigators and the location of their business – the licensed premises – was inspected by OLCC field inspectors to ensure the applicant met all state laws and regulations before their applications were presented to the Commission for approval.”

But who are they? Without further ado, I give you the licensees:

 

Harold Frazier, Dale Fox, Maiden Azalea LLC (New Breed Seed) –  Outdoor, Tier 1, Lane County

Far Out Farms, LLC (Far Out Farms) – Mixed, Tier 1, Tillamook County

Preston Greene (Yerba Buena) – Mixed, Tier 2, Washington County

Smokey Mountain Farm, LLC (Smokey Mountain Farm) –  Outdoor, Tier 1, Washington County

Jennifer Speer-Harvey, Antonio Harvey, Daniel Speer (Terra Mater) – Mixed, Tier 2, Clackamas County

PWCC, LLC (Pacific Wonderland Craft Cannabis) – Mixed, Tier 2, Clackamas County

SOCC, LLC (Southern Oregon Cannabis Company) – Outdoor, Tier 2, Jackson County

Charles J. Brooks (Loved Buds) – Outdoor, Tier 1, Josephine County

According to the OLCC, they have received 910 applications and expect to receive between 1200 and 2000 applications during the 2016 calendar year.  That’s a lot of paperwork to filter through. Limited recreational sales started in October of 2015 in Oregon and we have the first 8 producers cleared to begin production in the final days of April 2016. Let’s hope the OLCC Executive Director is a bit more efficient in the coming months. The agency expects to issue about 850 licenses in 2016 so expect a slew of new companies looking to bring new product to market later this year.

 

“Today is just another step on the path to implementation,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC.  “We’re going to continue to remain focused on creating a recreational marijuana system that ensures public safety, protects our children, and fosters a successful legal market for the recreational use of marijuana.” I couldn’t agree more with Steve on this one. We are not at the end point yet but this is another step in the right direction. Congrats to all the new producers, make us proud! Thanks for reading.