The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) has just set forth its policy recommendations regarding the State’s implementation of its recreational marijuana program. The recommendations can be found here. These recommendations include technical fixes to allow the OLCC to better implement Measure 91 consistent with the law’s intent as well as requested policy actions.
One of the OLCC’s policy recommendations is to implement a residency requirement such that all licensees would have to be Oregon State residents. Measure 91 did not include a residency requirement. The OLCC, however, believes this necessary to help ensure that marijuana produced in Oregon remains in the State.
The OLCC should carefully a residency requirement. Washington State’s residency requirement, which applies to licensees as well as anyone who provides funding to a licensed operation, has proven very problematic.
The lack of conventional financing available to licensees combined with the Washington’s residency requirement for financiers has made finding adequate capital extremely difficult for recreational marijuana businesses. Lack of funding opportunities continues to hinder the success of the legal recreational market in Washington.
Thus, Oregon officials should take heed and not handicap its new legal recreational marijuana program with overly burdensome residency requirements.
For more information on the regulation of recreational marijuana businesses, please contact Heather Wolf.