Tough Times in Oregon Cannabis

Oregon doesn’t want any new cannabis businesses. This turnabout rather happened quickly. Until this spring, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) issued most types of cannabis licenses to anyone who qualified under relatively broad parameters, through a cheap and simple licensing process. Oregon was even the first state to open its program to non-resident owners, back in 2016.

We first saw OLCC attempt to slow things down a bit back in 2018, when it “paused” acceptance of new applications in response to administrative backlog. Then, in the spring of 2019, the Oregon legislature enacted the (now expired) SB 218 moratorium on new producer licenses. But those actions paled in comparison to the current, multi-faceted effort by state actors to reign in the program.

Local industry has captured the legislature at this point, perhaps out of sympathy. This has placed downward pressure on OLCC to reign in licenses. The biggest shot across the bow was HB 4016, which enacted a sweeping moratorium on new cannabis licenses in the state. That sounds like a big deal, and it was; but really it was just one of a handful of actions targeting the industry over the past year.

A the end of July,

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