Immediate Changes For Hemp Growers And Sales In Oregon

Tonkon Torp LLP

Tonkon Torp LLP

With the passage of HB 3000, a lot is about to change in Oregon’s hemp industry.

One of the more immediate changes registered hemp growers may notice is additional enforcement action in areas of the state where illegal grows and “hot” hemp has become a large concern over the past year or so.

In July, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) announced that, along with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), it would be conducting field tests of registered hemp grows throughout the state, looking for illegal marijuana being grown under the guise of being hemp. Hemp that is found to test over the legal limits for THC could be subject to destruction, as well as enforcement action depending on the totality of the circumstances.

At a recent monthly meeting of OLCC commissioners, staff gave a detailed report on the results of these efforts. Specifically, the OLCC reported that, as part of what has been dubbed “Operation Table Rock,” the agencies visited over 300 sites in Southern Oregon – a whopping 54% of those visited were found to be growing illegal marijuana.

Should this concern you?

For legitimate, registered hemp growers, no. However, it is may be a good time to consider performing proactive field-testing, or taking other steps to ensure compliance before being contacted by regulators.

Contact your legal counsel to discuss options, or any questions about these new compliance activities by the OLCC and ODA.

Sale of adult use items to minors prohibited

Another section of HB 3000 includes a definition of “adult use cannabis items,” and prohibits their sale to consumers under the age of 21 – except that registered medical cardholders 18 and older may purchase these items at licensed OLCC retail stores. The OLCC has now also adopted temporary rules to implement this and other portions of HB 3000 immediately. Adult use cannabis items are now defined in law to include hemp items consumed, ingested, or inhaled, that contain more than 0.5 milligrams of THC or THCA (including both Delta-8, Delta-9 and artificially-derived cannabinoid forms), or that are advertised as having intoxicating effects.

The Oregon Health Authority recently published a bulletin further describing the restrictions applicable to any business selling consumable hemp products. For cannabis retailers, there will not be much, if any, change in the products they can sell to customers 21 and over. But for non-cannabis retailers that carry CBD or other hemp product lines for human consumption, it is critical that their products be reviewed carefully for compliance with the new requirements and restrictions on sales.

For a more in-depth analysis of HB 3000, click here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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