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OLCC Streamlines License Application Process For Recreational Marijuana

Marijuana regulators in Oregon are streamlining the licensing process for recreational marijuana in the state by adopting temporary rules to help ease a backlog in license applications.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission or OLCC said that at its regular monthly meeting in mid-October, it moved forward with plans to streamline the agency's recreational marijuana licensing process.

The OLCC noted that the temporary rules are intended to provide relief to the industry and allow it greater flexibility in the processing of marijuana license applications.
Key changes made by the regulator include changing the definition of the "applicant" for the license, including raising the threshold to 20 percent from the 10 percent ownership.

Further, the OLCC has changed the license application requirements, including reducing the amount of information and documentation that was previously required. It has also adopted changes to notification and pre-approval requirements when licensees alters the structure of the business or financial interests.

The agency added it plans to adjust compliance and enforcement activity through a Verification of Compliance or VOC program.

The OLCC noted that it has been under pressure to timely issue marijuana licenses since April 2016 amid the continued interest in the recreational market. According to the agency, personnel and technology support have not kept pace with license applications that quickly shot past the initial projection of 800 licenses and currently total more than 2,300.

The streamlining of the licensing process is intended to make it easier for recreational marijuana license applicants to begin operating, before the changes in ownership and financial interest changes in a licensed business are finally approved.

In addition to approving a temporary rule allowing the license process change, the OLCC has initiated the permanent rule-making process that will expand the scope of the streamlining as well as enable the industry to provide inputs in rule-making.

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