Compliance and Content: Oregonians Prepare for Recreational Marijuana Licensing

Compliance in Oregon

Since the passing of Measure 91, Oregon’s path to marijuana legalization has been awash in waves of new legislation. These legislative waves have produced a policy roadmap that can sometimes be difficult to navigate without a law degree. All of this comes at a time when the recreational market is budding and blossoming, attracting a slew of newcomers who are eager to engage the industry.

Fortunately, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, responsible for regulating the state’s recreational market, is hosting a series of workshops across the state to elaborate on what is required to be licensed to sell recreational marijuana next year.

Seven of the recreational marijuana license workshops are being held in regions of the state where the sale of recreational marijuana has not been banned: Bend, Medford, Eugene and Salem. Portland will host three separate workshops to account for the expected popularity of and need for the straightforward guides to compliance in the state’s metropolis.

The primary motive behind the workshops is to provide an overview of the application process and to describe what is necessary for compliance. These workshops cover a significant range of pertinent information: the state laws concerning recreational marijuana passed over the course of the past year; federal guidance; OLCC’s responsibilities, compliance philosophy and partnering agencies; timeline for implementation of new regulations and licenses; land use compatibility; the licensing fee structure; requirements for producers, wholesalers and retailers; packaging, labeling and advertising requirements, among other areas of importance. Finally, the OLCC does a step-by-step walkthrough of the online application process and answers any questions from audience members.

The first workshop was held in Bend on Dec. 3, 2015,  at the Riverhouse Convention Center. Nearly 300 people crowded into the space with hands raised up in inquiry. Audience members had a variety of questions spanning lighting, licensing constraints, security requirements, and whether or not the agency intended to put a cap on the number of licenses to be given out. The event on Dec. 8 in Medford was so popular that the three-hour-long workshop was standing room only.

Filling in the Gaps

The OLCC’s hands-on workshops provide necessary guidance for those entering the application process who need clarification on the regulations, but many potential applicants are new to the rigorous process of compliance and developing a business plan. Signal Bay (OTC: SGBY) is stepping in to fill in the content gaps of the OLCC workshops. Signal Bay is a professional consulting service provider that “currently has a 100% rate of success in with eight consulting cannabis applications in Nevada in 2015 with 21 applications in Maryland currently pending.”

Lori Glauser, president of Signal Bay, explained,

we are focused on helping applicants write the content of the application. For example, the application requires that you upload operating plans including elements such as security plans, transportation plans, information about minors and so forth. In addition to that there are cultivation plans and production plans all of these plans are things that we’ve developed for cultivation facilities in other states. Our services are twofold. On the one hand, we can help, through these workshops, teach people what are the best practices for developing these operating these plans and, secondly, we can also provide services that help develop custom operating plans on other people’s behalf and guide people towards additional financing if needed.

Signal Bay is holding its workshops in the middle of December as well and it is easy to sign up for them online through the company’s website.

“We think that, in Oregon, people are transitioning from a very unregulated type of environment to one that requires a lot more compliance and rigor and we can help navigate that,” Glauser added.

Apply in the New Year

The OLCC will begin taking applications for recreational licenses electronically on Jan. 4, 2016, after the new temporary regulations go into effect on the first of the year. Public hearings on permanent regulations will be held in the second quarter of next year. Licensed retail stores are expected to begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Tori is an artist, activist, curator, and writer from Miami living in Portland.

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