OLCC Receives “Steady Flow” of Recreational Marijuana Applications
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
“Despite the Portland Metro area being gripped by an ice storm the day the OLCC began accepting applications, the online system didn’t freeze up, and we’re continuing to receive a steady stream of submissions,” said Mark Pettinger, spokesperson for the Recreational Marijuana Program.
As of Monday, the OLCC had received nearly 300 applications from residents seeking to open businesses surrounding the growth, production and retail sale of marijuana.
Unsurprisingly, Multnomah County, home to Portland, led the way in applications with 56. Residents in Lane County submitted 34 applications, while 32 applications came from Jackson and 30 came from Clackamas.
The majority of applications, 156 to be exact, were for producers, 71 were for retailers and 29 were for processors.
In preparation to handle what was expected to be a big surge of activity, the OLCC set up a call center to help applicants with any questions. OLCC
staff have responded to more than 400 calls and voice mails that have come into the call center since the application process opened on march 4.
According to officials, help calls have ranged from applicants getting stuck on the application because of computer operating system and web browser issues, to clarifications on how to respond to specific sections of the application in relation to the OLCC’s Recreational Marijuana Temporary Rules.
As calls begin to taper off, the OLCC will consider scaling back the call center and shift staff to other responsibilities – including processing the applications.
The OLCC projects it will receive between 1200 applications and issue more than 850 licenses in 2016.
Related Slideshow: 20 Things You Need to Know About Buying Pot in Oregon
Employers Still Can—And Will—Drug Test
Many of the state’s largest employers, including Fred Meyer, Intel, Bi-Mart and Dairy Queen, will still test for marijuana, despite its new legal status. Companies that employ heavy equipment operators are required to buy insurance, and typically require drug testing.
Often, even companies that employ workers who operate machinery while simultaneously employing workers who do not will test, as the company will receive a lower monthly deductible if they test all of their employees across the board.
Driving Under the Influence
Unlike the Washington law, which included attached regulations concerning driving impairment, Oregon’s law has more room for interpretation.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is classified as a Class B Traffic Violation, which carries a presumptive fine of $260 and is not to exceed maximum fine of $2,000. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has been tasked with researching the subject of drugged driving and presenting its finding to the Oregon Legislative Assembly no later than January 2017.
After reviewing the OLCC report, the state legislative assembly will decide whether passing more extensive driving regulations will be necessary.
Where will the New Tax Money Go?
Where will the tax money go?
Measure 91, the ballot measure passed last year that legalized marijuana in Oregon, stipulates that the tax revenue collected from recreational sales will be divided up in the following ways:
40 percent- Common School Fund
20 percent- Mental Health Alcoholism and Drug Services
15 percent- Oregon State Police
10 percent- Counties for enforcement of the measure
10 percent- Cities for enforcement of the measure
5 percent- Oregon Health Authority for drug abuse prevention
While marijuana is now legal for recreational use in the state of Oregon, some individual communities have passed laws banning recreational marijuana facilities from opening. Consumption will still be legal in these areas, but sales will not.
For a full list of cities that have passed these bans, click here.
Photo: Downtown Baker City; via Wikimedia Commons
Budtenders-Bartenders for Weed
Have questions as you make your purchase? No problem, just ask your friendly budtender. The cannabis industry’s answer to bartenders, budtenders are knowledgeable about the different strains and types of marijuana and their effects and are ready and eager to help novice smokers.
Don’t Cross State Lines
It will still be illegal to transport marijuana across state lines. That restriction even includes those crossing the Columbia River into Washington, where marijuana is also legal. Marijuana is classified as a Scheduled I controlled substance, meaning that anyone transporting it across line is prosecutable by Federal agencies
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