Tag: Oregon Liquor Control Commission

OLCC Invites Erin Purchase of Kind Leaf to Join Oregon Metrc Users Group.

In mid-December 2019, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission circulated notice that they were seeking applicants from the Oregon Cannabis industry to fill positions that had opened in the state of Oregon’s Metrc users group.

From December until January 12th, over 200 Oregonians applied in hopes of gaining a position in the important group.

Erin Purchase, Director, Kind Leaf

Erin Purchase, the Director of Operations at Kind Leaf Pendleton received congratulatory notice February 6th that out of those 200 applicants, she was chosen to participate as a member. Since the inception of Kind Leaf, Purchase has been an integral part in the development and progression of the brand into one of Oregon’s largest cannabis retailers, and compliantly tracking the State’s largest selection of cannabis products.

Member selection is determined by a number factors including:
• Well rounded representation across all license types;
• Ability to communicate process-driven solutions effectively;
• Industry knowledge applied to compliance tracking software;

What is the Metrc User Group?

According to the Metrc Oregon Wiki, the Metrc User Group is comprised of approximately 60 industry members and staff partners (OLCC/Metrc).The purpose of this group is to identify, prioritize, and vote on enhancements to the OLCC’s Cannabis Tracking System (Metrc). The Metrc User Group is the representative body of licensees, medical registrants, and individuals using the Cannabis Tracking System. The Metrc User Group has been meeting since June 2017 and meets 3 to 4 times annually at the OLCC Headquarters In Milwaukie.

What Is Metrc?

“METRC” is an acronym that stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance. Metrc is a track and trace software program. Metrc is meant to monitor and verify cannabis inventories and product transits in real time for all licensed cannabis businesses in the industry. Metrc consists of a simple-interface web application, web-hosted services, a mobile application for on-site inspection by regulatory inspectors, as well as a mobile application licensee use in select states.

Metrc has the ability to integrate with other systems such as BioTrackTHC, Green Bits and other on-site programs through the use of the Metrc API, which offers an additional way of industry reporting into Metrc. The Metrc API is customized to each states rules or regulations and can vary based on the individual state requirements. This software is ready to evolve and update at anytime, with the help of regualtors and end-users

The Metrc Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) is an integral part the OLCC’s responsibility to ensure that recreational marijuana products can be tracked in the regulated market.  Every OLCC Recreational Marijuana licensee is required to participate in the CTS.

Metrc is responsible for the technical and operational components of the CTS; the OLCC is responsible for CTS statutory and regulatory issues.

Franwell provides licensees with training sessions and webinars to provide a thorough understanding of the CTS.  Prospective licensees will be required to pass a test on their knowledge of the CTS before the OLCC issues their license.

Steve Marks, OLCC
Photo by Yash Lucid

Currently 12 states and Washington DC utilize Metrc, of those areas, few are meeting to make sweeping and effective changes to the CTS. Oregon is leading the way by creating important user features like the Oregon Metrc Wiki as mentioned above, creating online access to Lab reporting and changing how certain products are regulated and reported to ensure complete consumer safety.

Oregon Grew a Record Amount of Cannabis in 2019

The Oregon cannabis industry has experienced so many ups and downs and twists and turns over the last few years that most of the small businesses that have survived are testaments to perseverance and a true love for the cannabis plant. With stringent regulations, a punishing federal tax code, and a massive amount of competition, the industry isn’t for the faint-hearted or anyone that thinks that it’s a “get-rich-quick” scheme.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the state regulators in charge of both cannabis and alcohol, have just issued a report providing a snapshot of the industry. Once again, a record amount of cannabis was grown by cultivators. The Portland Mercury listed some  key points from the report:

• Between January 2016 and the date SB 218 was signed into law, the OLCC had received 3,034 producer applications, an average of 72 applications per month.

• As of December 12, 2019, the OLCC is processing producer applications received on or after February 17, 2018. 511 producer applications are awaiting assignment for investigation. 142 are currently assigned to investigators at varying stages of processing.

• Between April 29, 2016 and December 1, 2019, OLCC issued 1,387 recreational producer licenses.

• The 2019 outdoor harvest season was the largest since recreational licensing began in 2016.

• Between January 1 and November 30, 2019, OLCC producers harvested more than 5.7 million pounds (approximately 2,600 metric tons) of wet weight. This represents a 16 percent increase over the same time period in 2018.

• The quantity sold of usable marijuana increased by approximately 25 percent.

• Sales of extracts, concentrates, edibles, and tinctures collectively rose approximately 50 percent.

• Wholesale prices per pound of usable marijuana increased considerably beginning in spring and summer 2019, almost doubling from approximately $650 in April 2019 to $1,200 in November 2019.

The OLCC concluded its report stating:

Oregon’s nascent recreational cannabis industry has come a long way in a few short years. It has already experienced boom and bust dynamics similar to other commodities, as well as the effects of consumer demand and oversupply, while at the same time far surpassing expectations for providing a significant source of revenue for the state. OLCC views its role in regulating the recreational market as one of educating, building, and partnering with stakeholders as the industry develops, and OLCC takes seriously its mission to support both public safety and economic development in this state.

Craft cannabis companies have to work extremely hard to survive, let alone thrive, but there is still great news for consumers, as prices are still low, especially compared to the rest of the nation. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and local communities. Competition provides a lot of options for cannabis consumers. I urge folks to support craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, a company that gives back to the Pendleton community and looking out for its customers and the cannabis community at large.

Legalization Works: OLCC Issues Cannabis Product Recall

The cannabis regulators at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) announced a product recall of Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend Pre-rolls following a failed pesticide test. While this announcement may be seized upon by Reefer Madness prohibitionists to scare people about cannabis, the recall actually shows that legalization works and is a much better and safer policy than prohibition. Prohibitionists have been demonizing cannabis since they learned about cannabis, so they aren’t going to stop now. However, forcing people into an illegal, unregulated market makes our communities more dangerous.

Without legalization and regulations, consumers don’t know if their cannabis products are tainted with potentially harmful substances. While cannabis, even when unregulated, has proven to be much safer than more addictive drugs, there are certainly health concerns that need to be addressed, especially for those with compromised immune systems. If you run into anyone that claims that product recalls show that  cannabis is dangerous and that we shouldn’t end prohibition from coast to coast, you can explain to them that such recalls show that legalization is working and that transparency on an open market is much safer than pushing people into an illicit, unregulated market without any testing regulations.

Here’s the full OLCC’s product recall notice:

January 16, 2020

OLCC Issues Marijuana Product Recall

Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend Pre-rolls Failed Pesticide Test

 

Portland, OR — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is issuing an immediate health and safety advisory due to the identification of potentially unsafe pesticide residue on plant material used in a packaged retail marijuana product.  The product in question was cultivated by licensed marijuana producer Ard Ri and packaged for sale to retailers by licensed wholesaler DYME Distribution.

The affected marijuana flower failed its pesticide test, because it exceeded the acceptable level, known as the “action limit”, for the insecticide Imidacloprid*.  The flower was incorporated into pre-rolled joints marketed under the Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend; the strain name is Trap Star.

Winberry Farms Recall

The impacted product (see above images) has a Unique Identification (UID) number of 1A4010300022859000015892.

The OLCC has locked down the product in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to prevent further distribution or sale to consumers.  The product was sold through nine OLCC licensed marijuana retailers around Oregon.  DYME distributed approximately 700 units of the contaminated pre-rolls; retailers have pulled the remaining 328 packages from their shelves.

The impacted Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Products were sold from December 17, 2019 through January 8, 2020 at the following licensed retailers:

  • Spark, 5103 NE Fremont Street, Portland
  • Ancient Remedies, 2350 State Street, Salem
  • Puff Oregon, 47700 NW Sunset Highway, Manning
  • Rogue River Herbal PMC, 510 East Main, Suite C, Rogue River
  • The Joint, 3270 Market Street NE, Salem
  • Stoney Only Clackamas, 10289 SE Highway 212, Clackamas
  • Tsunami Marijuana LLC, 36412 Highway 26, Seaside
  • Track Town Collective, 3675 Franklin Blvd., Eugene
  • Green Room, 2521 NW 9th Street, Corvallis

Initial test results for the source marijuana flower produced by Ard Ri was entered into CTS by PREE Laboratories in Corvallis on December 4, 2019; the test results indicated that both test samples failed.  PREE re-analyzed one of the samples, as allowed under marijuana testing rules, on December 11, 2019 and the sample passed.  However marijuana testing rules then require a second lab to re-sample and re-test the original product.  That verification test never took place.

Because of PREE Laboratories’ incorrect entry of test results into CTS the tracking system designated the marijuana flower as having passed its pesticide test.  Subsequently DYME Distribution packaged and distributed the contaminated marijuana as pre-rolled joints.

The OLCC detected the discrepancy January 6, 2020 when conducting a monthly audit on products that have failed pesticide tests at the point of origin – in this case the marijuana flower.  When the OLCC initiates an administrative hold of a product it automatically puts a hold on any product produced from the original flower.

OLCC is investigating both the contamination test failure, and the licensees’ use of CTS.

Consumers who have these recalled products should dispose of the products or return them to the retailer where they were purchased.  Consumers can follow these instructions found on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program website to destroy marijuana on their own.

There have been no reports of illness. The possible health impact of consuming marijuana products with unapproved pesticide residues is unknown. Short and long-term health impacts may exist depending on the specific product, duration, frequency, level of exposure, and route of exposure. Consumers with concerns about their personal health should contact their physician with related questions. Consumers with questions or concerns about recalled product or pesticide residues in marijuana products are encouraged to contact the product retailer and/or the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture maintains a guide list for Pesticides and Cannabis that be found here.

*The Oregon Health Authority is responsible for establishing pesticide and solvent action levels for marijuana testing.

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