Gov. Kate Brown has signed two bills that make key changes to Oregon’s recreational marijuana program, including one that removes a 2-year residency requirement for marijuana licensees and another that aims to draw small medical growers into the regulated system.
Brown signed Senate Bill 1598 and House Bill 4014. Senate Bill 1511, which allows dispensaries to sell marijuana-infused edibles and concentrates earlier than planned, and House Bill 4094, which allow banks and credit unions to deal with legal pot businesses without facing criminal liability, are awaiting her signature.
Here’s a quick look at the two bills signed by the governor:
SB 1598 makes it easier for some medical marijuana growers to enter the regulated recreational market by removing a paperwork requirement when applying for a state recreational marijuana license.
The provision is intended to help bring smaller growers into the regulated recreational marijuana system through a so-called micro-canopy license, which would come with lower fees and fewer requirements.
Senate Bill 1598 also adds medical and research marijuana grows as recognized farm crops, making them easier to locate in exclusive farm use areas and protecting them from lawsuits filed by neighbors over perceived nuisances like odor and noise.
Recreational marijuana grow sites are already recognized as farm crops under state law.
The bill also clarifies that home medical marijuana grows aren’t subject to inspection by the Oregon Health Authority; creates a sub-category of dispensaries for nonprofits that may accept excess marijuana from growers and sell to patients for little or no cost; and requires the health authority to study medical marijuana access in areas underserved by dispensaries and retailers once the state’s regulated marijuana industry is off the ground.
HB 4014 removes a two-year residency requirement for recreational marijuana producers, processors and retailers.
The law also reduces annual medical marijuana card registration fees for veterans from $200 to $20, treats medical marijuana the same as prescription drugs when setting conditions for people on pretrial release, diversion unrelated to impaired driving, probation or post-prison supervision and allows all marijuana establishments to deduct business expenses allowable under the federal tax code when filing state tax returns.