Edmund Garman

Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission is processing more than 1,300 applications for marijuana businesses, having processed about 200 so far, almost all of them for growers, according to a report from The Oregonian. Officials hope to complete the review by the end of the year.

Steven Marks, executive director of the commission, said that incomplete applications and extensive local approvals have slowed the process but indicated the review program is back on track.

“It’s going smoothly, but it’s a slower pace than expected,” he said in the report.

Licensed producers have already harvested 5,000 pounds of marijuana, according to the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system; however, that represents freshly harvested plants, not dry flower. About 700 pounds of that is intended for the seed market. Many licensed producers are being forced to stockpile plants because they need to be tested by a certified laboratory before being made available for sale.

A handful of retail stores operating under the new recreational market will open on Oct 1. Marks said he expects those businesses to represent to “a prelude not a crescendo of retailers.” The department has pulled staff from the alcohol agency to help review applications, with the hope they have enough supply available for retailers when they open their doors.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have the opportunity to convert their existing business to the recreational model by the end of the year.

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