With every update to the rules, I spend hours digesting them. More often than not, I end up penning a lengthy email to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) asking for clarification. It feels like I am following the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland to a mystical land of regulations, rules, and laws – seeking out the truth behind pesticide regulation. In this article, I am going to decipher these rules, but more importantly I want to breakdown the responsibilities of each state agency. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Well in our industry, knowledge also costs a lot of time, energy and money.

The first thing to understand when navigating Oregon’s expansive rule set, is everyone falls into two categories. A producer or processor will either fall into the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program or the Recreational Program. Even though both of these programs deal with the handling of cannabis products, it is important to note they have some different interpretations of the pesticides rules published by the OHA. To better understand why this is, we need to rewind the clock a little bit.

The cannabis industry is evolving at an incredible rate. I’m sure I’m not the only one who leaves work on a Friday night, only to come back to a world of changes on Monday morning. Normally, my inbox is full of inquiries, social media has blown up with conversations about changes, and I’m conversing with teammates about the true impact on the community of these changes. Not all of these changes are negative, though. As cannabis continues to legitimize across the globe, one major change that I’ve seen is in the research. More interestingly, the community has been driving to seek a better understanding of terpenoids (terpenes) – organic compounds produced by plants, which are generally classified as essential oils.

With the end of prohibition, a lot of change comes to the communities that embrace regulation of cannabis. In Oregon, part of legalization came with a 17% tax rate on recreational products, where municipalities can charge an additional 3% with the approval of voters. In addition to this, recreational licensees (in this case, the taxpayer), can keep 2% of the state tax to cover administrative costs. 

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