Oregon Lawmakers Pass Bill to Cap Cannabis Licenses

The Oregon Legislature recently passed a bill to cap the number of cannabis licenses in response to market oversaturation, setting limits based on the state’s population and introducing measures for inter-agency cooperation and enforcement in the cannabis and industrial hemp sectors.

Full story after the jump.

The Oregon Legislature last week passed a bill to cap the number of cannabis licenses in the state – an attempt to mitigate oversaturation in the state’s industry. According to the staff member summary, the bill would cap production and retail licenses at one each per 7,500 residents 21-and-older, and at 12,500 per resident 21-and-older for processor and wholesale licenses.    

The legislation comes as Oregon’s legal cannabis market experienced a decline last year to $955 million in sales. The market had peaked in 2021 with $1.2 billion in sales. Retail cannabis prices in 2023 fell to $4 per gram.   

The measure would also allow inter-agency cooperation for inspections and enforcement of industrial hemp operations, including allowing for National Guard assistance to support the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and law enforcement in inspections and enforcement of industrial hemp laws.  

Additionally, the bill directs the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission OLCC, in consultation with ODA, to create a map of locations of premises licensed to produce cannabis or industrial hemp and Allows law enforcement agencies to accompany the department to industrial hemp operations throughout the state. It also directs the commission to establish a registration system for industrial hemp products that contain cannabinoids and are intended for human or animal consumption or use and establishes a civil penalty up to $10,000 for each registration violation. 

The bill also directs the OLCC to establish uniform standards for minor decoy operations to investigate the sale of cannabis products to individuals under 21.  

If signed into law by Gov. Tina Kotek (D), most of the measure’s provisions take effect January 1, 2025, while the registration system to industrial hemp would take effect January 1, 2026.  

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