July 17, 2018, Oregon
Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) also oversees the cannabis operations of the state. The regulatory body is preparing to come out with new rules and regulations for the licensed marijuana cultivators. The purpose of these new regulations is to provide the commission with more control and supervision of the cannabis harvest. The licensed growers are already opposing the proposition. They are of the thought that the regulations will get in the way of the volatile and delicate nature of cannabis harvesting.
Even though OLCC hasn’t revealed any concrete thing about the regulations, but the objective is to introduce new regulations to curtail illegal cannabis operations in the state. The regulators have estimated that (though not revealed any figures) the surplus cannabis yield is ending up in the black market. Therefore, they want to roll out regulations to strictly keep in check the amount of cannabis harvest produced by legal growers each season.
It is important to note that legalization hasn’t dented the black market as expected. In LA, for instance, the illegal cannabis economy is growing more frantically after the legalization. Oregon is also facing the similar challenges. The regulators have come to the conclusion that by cutting the supply of surplus crop to the illegal vendors they can deal with the thriving illegal cannabis market.
On the other hand, growers are already wary of the upcoming regulations. They believe it can disrupt the precise, time-sensitive growing process of high quality medical and non-medical strains. They are in agreement that the close monitoring of the harvesting by the regulators is an extra burden, which they don’t want to bear.
For instance, the new regulations might ask the growers to tell when they are going to harvest and what the expected harvest date is. In addition, they want to keep a close eye on the drying process of the crop. The regulars believe that drying period is that window where most of the surplus product is diverted to illegal vendors.
However, it looks like OLCC is not paying much attention to the concerns of licensed cultivators. According to the commission’s director, Steve Marks, they get the same list of complaints from other agricultural food processors as well. Growers have contested that cannabis is not like other crops. It is used in the making of therapeutic products and therefore the quality of the yield can’t be compromised.
It is difficult to anticipate the exact harvesting period of cannabis because weather conditions greatly influence this. Sometimes the crop gets ready before the occasion, at other times an unforeseen weather change stretches that time.
But Oregon is not in the mood to budge on the demands of growers. With the imposition of new regulations, they are really hopeful for figuring out the supply chain of the black market. The regulators also want to introduce new regulations to prevent any federal crackdown against the state’s cannabis program. OLCC members will meet on 26 July. There are strong chances that they will vote on the new regulations in the forthcoming meeting.