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Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

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  • 8 Feb 2019 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    Problem: CurrentlyOregonians are at risk of losing their jobs or being denied an employment opportunity simply for the consumption of legal substances in their off-hours.

    Oregon employees may be fired or not hired solely due to their employer learning that they have consumed legal substances like cannabis during their personal time, even if they were never impaired at work and the use did not impact their performance.

    This is especially problematic for cannabis use, as metabolites can remain detectable in the system for 20-30 days following a single use. Currently, off-hours tobacco use is protected from employment discrimination by statute.

    The current dynamic is hindering the ability of otherwise qualified people to find and/or keep jobs - increasing Oregonian’s risk of financial insecurity. This is especially true for lower wage employees, further entrenching legal cannabis as a right only for the wealthy and privileged.

    Solution: Support HB 2655, and extend current employment protections to include cannabis the same way it protects off-hours tobacco use, with the proper exceptions for safety, negotiated labor contracts, actual on the job impairment or use of intoxicants.

    • This would not protect employees who are impaired on the job, and only prevents using off-hours consumption as grounds for terminating or rejecting employment

    • We can include certain necessary exemptions for jobs that have a legitimate or ‘bona-fire occupational requirement or qualification’ that would be highly relevant.

    • Exceptions can also exist for collective bargaining agreements or other positions where employees enter into a contract agreeing not to consume in their off-hours.

      Oregon would not be the first state to pass an employment protection law of this kind.
      There are currently at least nine states providing employment protections for either medical or recreational cannabis and Vancouver B.C. now provided these protections to its police force.

      We Urge You To Please Vote Yes on HB 2655!

      The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a trade association of over 300 member businesses working to develop smart cannabis policy that promotes a robust retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon. 

  • 7 Feb 2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    On behalf of our members we strongly support legal cannabis export and believe that it is essential to the long-term health and success of Oregon’s cannabis industry.  Accordingly, we appreciate the intent of this bill but we have concerns with the language and would suggest several changes. 

    National legalization and the ability to export cannabis nationally and internationally is an inevitability at this point. National polling from October showed the 66% of Americans now support legalization, thirty-three states have medical cannabis and ten states plus Washington D.C. have recreational cannabis and there is every indication that these trends are continuing rapidly.  

    That being said we do not know how, when and in what manner national legalization and/or legal export of cannabis will happen.  For example, there could be a period where cannabis is not descheduled but export is allowed between states with compliant medical and recreational programs or there could just be full national legalization with states opting in.

    As we cannot predict the manner by which export becomes legal we strongly believe that an export bill should provide as much flexibility as possible to the Governor’s office and the OLCC to authorize and regulate the export of cannabis as soon as it is legally possible under as many legal structures as possible.

    Therefore we would advocate for changes amendments to this bill to ensure that the following goals are achieved: 

    1) Provide enough flexibility and authority to the Governor’s office and the OLCC to export cannabis as soon as is legally feasible without having to come back to the legislature (since we don’t know when legalization might happen). 

    2) Provide guidance, resources, benchmarks for the Governors administration and the OLCC to develop the necessary rules, administrative structures, and systems to regulate cannabis export ahead time.

    3) Establish a reasonable and nationally competitive tax rate for exported cannabis. And, ensure that a significant portion of the taxes are fairly distributed to the counties in relation to amount of cannabis being farmed.

    Thank you for your time and please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

    Respectfully,

    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

    http://www.oregoncannabisretailers.com

    Two in Three Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana 

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/243908/two-three-americans-support-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

  • 6 Feb 2019 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Currently, Oregon’s cannabis industry is in crisis, especially our cannabis growers. Oregon’s 1000+ farms are producing far more cannabis than Oregonians can consume -forcing a price war among producers that has driven prices down to unsustainable rates. The result is thousands of companies fighting to survive, putting thousands more jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of local capital at imminent risk of loss.

    The constraints on Oregon’s market are a consequence of legalization. The barriers preventing growers from accessing legal markets within the state will force much of that perishable excess supply into other states, no matter what. That’s already happening. Oregon has been a net-exporter of cannabis for decades. We know prohibition doesn’t work. We want those sales to be legal, regulated, and taxed.

    The Solution is simple – We Must Legalize Cannabis Exports. It would:

    1. 1)  Ensure that Oregon and our cannabis – world-renowned for its outstanding quality - are the leading supplier of cannabis to the rest of the country and the rest of the world, just like we are for hops.

    2. 2)  Create a thriving cannabis economy, employing tens of thousands and generating hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of revenue for Oregon’s cannabis farms and other small businesses.

    3. 3)  Create a new stream of tax revenue for the state and local counties potentially many times larger than we currently raise from the in-state retail sales of cannabis

    4. 4)  Incentivize licensure and dramatically reduce the amount of cannabis entering the illicit market

    Oregon Legislature’s Role: Please pass a bill that gives the Governor’s office and the OLCC the authority and flexibility to regulate and legally export cannabis to other states or countries as soon as possible. We know that the federal legalization of cannabis is looming, and we want to make sure that Oregon can begin exporting as soon as that happens. We must remove the barriers in state statute now.

    Ways the legislature can help Oregon’s cannabis farmers and processors:

    1. Fix Oregon’s statutes that currently make it illegal to export cannabis even if it were federally legal.

    2. Enable the OLCC to develop the necessary rules and systems ahead of time so that we are fully ready

      to increase our production and exporting to inter-state and international markets as soon as possible.

    3. Protect the value of existing cannabis licensees and the early investments that it took to create them.

    4. Drive the legal cannabis export conversation forward nationally, to expedite federal legalization.

    5. Accelerate the creation of thousands of jobs in cannabis production, processing, and distribution.

    We urge you to support legislation that would allow for the legal export of cannabis as soon as possible, so we can grow this important sector of the state’s economy.

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a non-profit trade association of over 350 member businesses working to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry in Oregon.

  • 4 Feb 2019 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    Problem: For decades, Oregonians have been convicted of crimes relating to cannabis that are no longer illegal.  The long-term impact of these convictions on Oregonians is often severe. Convictions can hinder a citizen’s ability to find employment, qualify for federal benefits, find and secure housing, and many other aspects of everyday life.  

    Multiple statistical studies have shown how people of color have disproportionately borne the brunt of the failed drug war, and the negative impacts for drug convictions.  The current process in Oregon for expungement is done through an application process, usually requiring the help of an attorney, and adding unnecessary barriers that further hinder those with the least amount of resources from having their record cleared. 

    By acting, the legislature can remove many of those past convictions automatically.

    Solution: Support SB420, which aims to automatically expunge past cannabis misdemeanors that would no longer be illegal under the law today, and establish a simplified process to reduce past cannabis felonies to misdemeanors when appropriate.

    Oregon should join Washington, California, and the ten other states that have acted to- or are currently working toward – automatically correcting records for those charges.

    For those dealing with past convictions, this issue cannot wait.  Please act now.

    WE URGE YOU TO SUPPORT SB420 TO HELP PROVIDE JUSTICE 
    TO THE VICTIMS OF THE FAILED WAR 

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a trade association of over 300 member businesses working to develop smart cannabis policy that promotes a robust retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon. 

  • 12 Dec 2018 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Happy Holidays! However you celebrate (or if you don’t), we hope this season brings you prosperity and happiness. 

    Cannabis saw huge wins this year, especially in the mid-term elections and things aren't slowing downing. There is already a plethora of great cannabis bills introduced across the country for 2019, which we give a quick snapshot of below.

    Oregon is no exception, ORCA is working on 5 major policy bills for the industry. If you like what we are working on please consider joining our 350 current member businesses and help us succeed in the 2019 legislature. Simply, the more members we have the stronger we are, the louder our voice is, and the more likely we are to win. 

    To those who are getting our newsletter for the first time - welcome, we hope that you enjoy it. With that let's get started...

    Oregon Update -


    The November Election - was terrific for Oregon's cannabis industry with six Oregon cities voting to legalize recreational cannabis businesses. Democrats won super-majorities in the House and Senate and we have strong supporters in party leadership positions. There are a lot of challenges before us but 2019 is looking really good for cannabis legislation in Oregon.

    Additionally, Rep. Carl Wilson was elected as Minority Leader by the House Republicans.  Wilson served on the "Joint Committee" for its duration and understands the importance of cannabis to Oregon's Economy. With a Republican leader who understands the nuance to cannabis policy, we are in a strong position of achieving our goals.

    2019 Legislative Session - ORCA representatives have been stumping for our policy priorities in Salem. And We are working with our alliance partners to educate elected officials and staff about the policy needs of the cannabis industry and build support for the change we all want. 

    ORCA's major focus (as we have noted) is on passing bills for:

    • Automatic expungement of cannabis convictions
    • Legal cannabis export
    • Fixing social consumption
    • Ending employment discrimination for off-hours cannabis use
    • Tackling unnecessary and expensive regulatory burdens relating to manifests, transportation, delivery, storage, and B2B sampling. 

    If you haven't signed the petition yet for legal cannabis export, take a moment right now to sign on at www.onefixcannabis.org.

    FYI - We will be hosting a Cannabis Industry Lobby Day March 12 for ORCA members. 

    Portland Cannabis Criminal Record Expungement


    The City of Portland has recently funded the Metropolitan Public Defenders office to provide free expungement services for the public. If you have been harmed by cannabis prohibition email:  cannabiscleared@mpdlaw.com to begin your free analysis. 

    OLCC licensing news - As of Dec. 19th Oregon has 2086 active licenses an increase of 60 licenses since mid-September. These new licenses break down to 1 Lab, 10 Processors, 15 farms, 24 Retailers, and 12 Wholesalers.

    We know that there will be an effort in the legislature this year to give the OLCC the ability to limit the number of licenses granted.  We are tracking this effort to make sure it is done right and doesn't hurt the existing industry.    

    THE OTHER STATES - 


    1 in 4 Americans now lives in a state where cannabis is fully legal and 68% live in a state with medical cannabis. In total ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 33 states allow medical marijuana. The real question now is not if but when states will go fully legally.  

    State Cannabis legalization - Is definitely on a roll and picking up speed. The focus of the industry now needs to be on proactively shaping its policies and regulations.  We all must be politically engaged to ensure that we get the actual industry we want when everything is said and done.

    Federal, and International Updates

    Federal Updates

    The recent election had a massive impact on the potential for cannabis legislation across the country.  We are very hopeful that the 2019 session will see significant progress on several fronts in the movement to legalize more broadly, especially if the industry comes together fights hard.

    1) Senate Judiciary - Senator Chuck Grassley will step down as Chair to be replaced by Sen Lindsay Graham. Graham, while certainly not a proponent for fully legal cannabis, has co-sponsored several beneficial pieces of legislation (to protect legal markets, reschedule cannabis, and remove CBD from a list of federally banned substances) so it is more likely we will see positive progress as a result of this change. 

    2) Pete Sessions lost - His bid for re-election in Texas. This is great news for the cannabis industry. While most are familiar with Jeff Sessions (the evil Keebler Elf of the DOJ), Pete Sessions, as the previous chair of the House Rules Committee, consistently killed bipartisan any pro-cannabis measures he could. Getting rid of him is a huge victory let's hope no one picks up his mantle.

    3) 2018 Farm Bill - Woo Hoo! It has now passed both House and Senate and is headed to the President’s desk for approval. The long-awaited bill removes industrial hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, making it a lawful agricultural commodity. It also allows states to become the primary regulators of hemp, enables researchers to apply for federal grants and makes the crop eligible for crop insurance. Both farmers and investors are looking forward to a loosening of hemp regulations expecting the market could grow from $800M to $22B in the next four years.

    4) The STATES Act - Senator Cory Gardner tried to attach the STATES Act as an amendment to the criminal justice reform bill coming to the Senate floor this week. Although it is a move unlikely to gain more than attention, it is an indicator of the strength of the movement at the federal level going into the 2019 session.

    5) The MAPLE Act - Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer filed a bill to make sure we can hang out with our friends and partners in Canada. The new legislation, the Maintaining Appropriate Protections For Legal Entry (MAPLE) Act, would provide exceptions for conduct that “was lawful in the State, Indian Tribe, or foreign country in which the conduct occurred” or that was “subsequently made lawful under the law or regulation of such jurisdiction.” While it is unlikely the proposal will be passed before the end of the current legislative session, it will go to the newly democratic House in the 116th session.

    6) Cannabis Economy - A recent report entitled “The National Cannabis Economy” released by Democrats on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee shows that the industry has brought in more than $8 billion in sales in 2017, estimates sales will reach $11 billion this year, and soar to $23 billion by 2022

    International Update  


    Canada - As the global market expands, state-legal markets and cross-border businesses continue to suffer under Federal Prohibition. Several Canadian attendees were banned from attending MJBizcon in Las Vegas, and at least one investor was banned for life. As cannabis stocks continue to multiply, this ongoing uncertainty does provide a drag on the market, trading has been volatile and trending down.

    Mexico - As Canada’s market swiftly starts to mature, Mexico has introduced legislation to allow cultivation and sale by private citizens. Although facing some opposition, the MORENA Party (the same as President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador) feels confident the legislation will pass both houses. As currently written, the bill would allow for a commercial, medicinal, and recreational industry as well as a provision for citizens to grow their own. Smoking in public would also be allowed.

    Thailand - In a surprise move, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly announced an intention to become the first country in Asia to cultivate and sell cannabis. They did stress an intention to serve the medical market but are excited about the economic opportunity posed.  Thailand will join the growing cohort of nations who have legalized cannabis for medical use including Australia, Germany, and Israel.

    CANNABIS EVENTS:

    ORCA MEMBERS' MEETING with Rep Rachel Prusak (HD37)

    ORCA's January 7th Members Meeting will feature guest speaker Representative-Elect Rachel Prusak (HD37). Rep. Prusak won her first legislative election this fall. We have big hopes for her in the legislature but it is important to get her up to speed on cannabis quickly. Please come and share your experiences, concerns, and hopes for the industry with her. 


    January 2019 ORCA Meeting - Portland, OR

    Monday, January 7th, 6:00-8:30pm

    Cultiva Law

    *OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY*

    Not a member yet, sign up today - Join ORCA!

    We'll start with a brief round of introductions and then quickly move through our agenda. Our special guest will speak from 6:45pm to 7:45pm. Folks can then relax and enjoy some casual networking with complimentary food and drinks.

    CANNABIS COLLABORATIVE CONFERENCE - FOCUS ON THE FUTURE


    The Cannabis CollaborativeConference (CCC) is a rare and valuable experience created “By the industry, for the Industry”. For five years, CCC has brought together education, networking and innovations on the high impact issues. A recent article in the WEED NEWS- outlines why this Conference is more important than ever.

    Join the 2,500+ like-minded attendees, to engage in Future of the Industry discussions (Keynote: Across State Lines: A Conversation with the OLCC and LCB.) Connect with thought-leaders to address high-value issues, and network with our carefully curated network of cannabis and ancillary businesses.

    NEW! Pitch Contest

    CCC & Willamette Week are hosting a joint Pitch Contest. Semi-finalists will have the chance to pitch their company to a panel of investors, who will choose the five finalists to pitch on the Main Stage to close the conference.

    As the Oregon and Washington markets mature, business owners concerns are evolving. The CCC includes a mix of presentations and panels focused on the future trends of the industry:

    • Hemp/ CBD
    • Best Business Practices
    • Emerging Markets
    • Branding
    • Social Media/ Marketing
    • Medical Science
    • Social Justice

    Plus!

    • OLCC will also be in the hall next door providing Oregon licensees’ rules & reg updates, Q & A booth on-site
    • Rule updates and Q&A with OLCC representatives.
    • Networking Opportunities - local, national and international.
    • Investor speed-dating & Cannabis Connex Lounge

    Introductions that Matter

    Growers meet Buyers, Investors meet Entrepreneurs, Agencies meet Advocates. We bring together the most diverse audience in the industry and then create opportunities for meeting, networking and learning.

    “I have attended the CCC as both a visitor and as a booth exhibitor, and I absolutely love this conference in all ways. The expo floor is full, diverse and energetic AND is organized and licensed with the OLCC to allow exhibitors to show their cannabis products (huge benefit for us!). But not only is this show an expo, but presents multiple and simultaneous break-out seminars that are educational and offer a thorough variety of subjects. This is by far the most educational cannabis conference I attend, and I have been going to a lot! (OMBC, ICBC, CannaCon, etc.)” ~~ Rhea Miller, Millerville Farms

    Weekly Wholesale Report

    We have attached our weekly wholesale flower report this month. ORCA members get this weekly courtesy of our good friends at CannabisBenchmarks.


    Download Full Report!


    WHY ORCA!

    The driving mission for ORCA and our 350+ member businesses is to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry through lobbying, advocacy, and community organizing. Our primary focus is on fixing regulations and statutes to improve the business environment for the industry.

    Every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain. Growing our membership is vital to our ability to make change. Consider forwarding this email, or inviting a friend to the next ORCA meeting. Our accomplishments are a direct reflection of our membership, we rely on you to help us grow.  


    Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 

    -------

    That's all for December. Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.

    Respectfully,

    Jesse Bontecou
    Deputy Director

  • 23 Nov 2018 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    The November Election - was terrific for Oregon's cannabis industry with six Oregon cities voting to legalize recreational cannabis businesses. Democrats won super-majorities in the House and Senate and we have strong supporters in party leadership positions. There are a lot of challenges before us but 2019 is looking really good for cannabis legislation in Oregon.

    Additionally, Rep. Carl Wilson was elected as Minority Leader by the House Republicans.  Wilson served on the "Joint Committee" for its duration and understands the importance of cannabis to Oregon's Economy. With a Republican leader who understands the nuance to cannabis policy, we are in a strong position of achieving our goals.

    1 in 4 Americans now lives in a state where cannabis is fully legal and 68% live in a state with medical cannabis. In total ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 33 states allow medical marijuana. The real question now is not if but when states will go fully legally.

    California - A recent decision in California Tax Court against Harborside Health Center may have impacts throughout the cannabis industry. The IRS successfully argued that the business was a for-profit entity and not entitled to deductions because of their status as a 280e business. This decision establishes a very narrow definition for Cost of Goods Sold. The decision may be appealed to the Ninth Circuit which covers Oregon. We will keep you updated on the issue as it unfolds. In the meantime, cannabis businesses might want to check-in with their accountants to find out how they could be affected. 

    Connecticut - Governor Ned Lamott has indicated cannabis legalizationwill be among his top priorities in the 2019 session.

    Massachusetts - Is now open for business with three recreational shopsnow open. Although, patients were asked to book a time to ease traffic concerns. Early sales have already produced $7m.

    Michigan - Woo Hoo! With 56% of the vote, Michigan has joined The Legal Rec Club! The first state to do so in the Mid-West, the law took effect December 6 and allow citizens to cultivate, possess, and consume cannabis. Adults can cultivate up to 12 plants and possess up to 10 oz in their home. However, its expected they won't have licensed retail shops until 2020.  

    Missouri - Voters overwhelmingly voted to legalize medical cannabis by 32% margin of victory. Lawmakers haven't missed a beat and have already introduced bills for full legalization and to block feds access to patient info.  

    Nebraska - will bring a 2020 ballot measure to a vote for both medical and recreational use.

    New York - Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that he will push to legalize recreational cannabis in 2019 with a focus on redressing imbalances in criminal justice application.

    North Dakota - Sadly rejected a ballot measure to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. 

    Rhode Island - is considering recreational cannabis as other New England states quickly evolve their policy. Opinions remain divided, with public safety and revenue the main considerations.  

    South Carolina - Legislators have already pre-filed four pro-cannabis bills this week for decriminalization and to legalize medical cannabis.

    Texas - Legislators have been busy filling twelve cannabis bills covering everything from decriminalization to a ballot measure for full legalization!  

    Utah - Voters legalized medical cannabis with 53% but the State legislature is complicating the issue and the specifics of how legalization will unfold is still a major question.

    State Cannabis legalization - Is definitely on a roll and picking up speed. The focus of the industry now needs to be on proactively shaping its policies and regulations.  We all must be politically engaged to ensure that we get the actual industry we want when everything is said and done.

    If you want to help ORCA do just that please become a member and add your voice to the fight.  You can sign up in less than a minute and membership starts at just $35.00 a month.

  • 9 Oct 2018 7:10 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings Everyone, we hope autumn is treating you well. This month we have some big news about bills for Oregon's 2019 legislative session and of course, we give you a quick & easy rundown of important cannabis news from across the country.

    Also, October has 3 important events that we hope to see you at, The RAD Expo starts tomorrow and ORCA's monthly membership meeting and the DOPE Cup are at the end of the month. Growers and Processors the deadline to enter your products in the DOPE Cup is tomorrow, Oct. 10th.   

    With that let's get into it... 

    States Update


    Oregon - 

    We are happy to be able to tell you that there will be at least four major cannabis bills in the Oregon Legislature next year, which will address - Cannabis export, Social consumption venues and events, Automatic expungement of cannabis convictions, and Worker protections for legal off hours consumption.  If you are curious about the details or want to know how you can help with these please reach out to Jesse Bontecou.

    Sign on to support Cannabis Export: As I hope everyone knows, one of our top priorities is passing legislation that would ensure Oregon can export cannabis as soon as is legally feasible.  That is why ORCA partnered with the Craft Cannabis Alliance to create the ONE Fix Cannabis campaign.  We are asking that everyone visits the website onefixcannabis.org and sign on to our letter to the legislature endorsing cannabis export. We need to show the legislature that there is overwhelming support for this issue, so please sign on to the letter today.  

    Portland City Council voted to reduce fees, defer payments, and create a social equity program to support business owners who were directly impacted by cannabis prohibition.

    Don't forget about the two campaigns in Oregon working to end local prohibition at the ballot box this November. Klamath Strong and MalheurCAN are working hard but can use all the help they can get, so reach out and support them today!

    CANNABIS VOTER REGISTRATION

    The deadline for new voters to register to vote is 11:59 PM Oct. 21st so please make sure all your friends, family, customers, and co-workers are registered. You can register online using turbovote.org or the Oregon SOS Online Voter registration form.






    OLCC licensing news - As of Oct. 9th, Oregon has 2050 active licensees an increase 24 of licenses since our last Newsletter. In that same time period, only five more businesses surrendered their licenses, one lab and four farms. 



    Other States: 

    Washington state announced sweeping changes to rules governing edible production last week, effectively banning all hard candies, fruit chews, dummies, and stylized chocolates in a bid to eliminate products that might appeal to children. The LCB stressed that this is a compliance enforcement action against industry players who have not followed existing rules, but many processors are worried about the implications of the new interpretations.

    Seattle Municipal Court, at the urging of the Seattle City Attorney, agreed to vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions and dismiss all misdemeanor possession charges from the years before legalization. Up to 542 people can be helped by this decision, and the Seattle Times Editorial Board are urging other jurisdictions to follow suit.  

    California also passed a bill to help automate the process of expunging past cannabis convictions. Misdemeanors can be expunged and felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors under the new regime. This is a huge step towards social justice for those disproportionately affected by the failed War on Drugs.  With your support Oregon should be following suit and passing its own version of automatic expungement in 2019.


    Federal Policy Updates 


    The U.S. Department of Agriculture reassured growers that it will continue to implement provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill even though the overall legislation expired at the end of last month. While Congress continues to align competing bills for the future of Hemp cultivation, farmers are reassured by a number of other budget measures that protect the current status quo.

    The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy acknowledged the existence of a marijuana policy committee organized by the Administration but disputed the notion that it is "secret" or biased against cannabis.

    US Customs and Border Protection agency shamefully confirmed that they do not recognize cannabis as a legal business and that Canadian travelers risk being banned if they simply admit to past consumption. This poses a problem for both employees and investors as they are subject to scrutiny, and travelers have already been denied entry. 


    International Update


    The Government of Ontario, CA has made progress on social consumption. It issued guidance that citizens will be allowed to consume cannabis where ever it is legal to consume tobacco, although consumption in cars and boats will still be outlawed.

    Jamaica has successfully exported cannabis to Canada with the intention of eventually selling to Canadian patients. Although production and consumption are restricted within the country, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries have stated that " The shipment marks the first step in positioning Jamaica as the medical marijuana hub for the world." 

    The Constitutional Court in South Africa has legalized consumption of cannabis and the ability of citizens to grow privately. While trade remains illegal, proponents believe this is a huge step in legalization and hope it will be codified in law by parliament in the next two years. South Africa would be only the third country to legalize medical marijuana after Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

    Malaysia is racing to be the first medical country in Asia after a draconian criminal ruling sparked public debate. In SE Asia drug trafficking faces harsh penalties with little difference between cannabis and harder drugs like cocaine. Thailand is also considering how to legalize cannabis for medical use, but challenges remain.

    The UK government will rely on imports to supply cannabis as prescriptions become available to patients later this year. The recommendation comes as part of a broad set of guidance as the UK accepts and explores the value of Cannabis-derived medicinal products.  Here is one more reason that Oregon and congress need to move legal export forward as fast as possible. 

    To get a decent summary of the medical and recreational countries and their laws just click the map above.


    Fun With Polling:

    National support for cannabis continues to grow, while opposition continues to decline. Republicans remain the demographic most unlikely to support legalization, but even amongst this demographic the balance continues to shift, especially among younger voters at 74%.  So Make sure Young folks Register and Vote!








    CANNABIS  EVENTS:

    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-1 

    The RAD Expo starts tomorrow at the Portland Convention Center. Online registration is closed but you can get tickets at the door for just $25. Every industry sector and license type is welcome. 

    There is no better opportunity to meet and network with thousands of retailers from all over the country at the largest retail-focused B2B cannabis event in the world.

    The team behind the RAD Expo has proudly made Portland and the Northwest home to one of the best national conferences around – don't miss out!


    The Retail & Dispensary Expo is the Cannabis industry’s only retail-focused conference. It brings together the largest gathering of industry retail owners and operators country. (RAD is NOT a grow show!). The event offers unique networking opportunities to show off the latest technologies and business solutions for cannabis retailers.

    October ORCA Member Meeting w/ Rep. Julie Fahey - Eugene, OR, October 29, 2018

    We are three weeks out from our next ORCA Members Meeting. We will get to hear from, Rep Julie Fahey, one of our industry's biggest champions in the legislature and a key ally in passing our legislative priorities. 


    October 2018 ORCA Meeting - Eugene
    Monday, October 29th, 6:30-8:30 pm
    2644 River Road, Eugene, OR 97404

    Check-in: 6:00-6:30pm
    Meeting begins: 6:30pm
    Agenda commences: 6:45pm (we will start promptly)
    Social Hour: 7:30pm - 8:30pm

    Our membership meetings are very valuable opportunities for our industry to develop essential relationships with elected officials and they are a lot of fun so! 

    If you are a Producer [Silver Level or higher], Contact our staff if you'd like to be a Flower Sponsor for one of our upcoming meetings! It's great way to show off some strains you'd like to get into the hands of shop owners!

    **OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY**
    Not a member yet? Join Today

    The DOPE CUP Oregon 2018 - Portland, OR OCT 28

    The DOPE Cup, one of the most anticipated cannabis competitions in the country, continues to elevate its game through a highly transparent and technical judging process coupled with an evening of food, friends and music. This year the DOPE Cup carries on its tradition as Oregon’s High-Halloween on Sunday October 28, 2018. 


    What To Expect - The 2018 Oregon DOPE Cup will bring together the Oregon Cannabis Community for one night. Music will be a highlight of the night with local artists and a special guest performance from the Wu Tang Clans - Ghostface Killah. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from some of Portland's top Food Carts. The night will conclude with the DOPE Cup Awards Ceremony.

    Together We Stand, Divided We Fall - Join Today!

    The driving mission of ORCA and our 300+ members is to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry through lobbying, advocacy, and community organizing. To this end, our primary focus right now is on fixing regulations and statues to improve the business environment for the industry.


    This is very challenging, but every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain.  With trade associations, what is accomplished is always ultimately going to be a function of resources - so growing our membership is absolutely vital to our continued success.  


    Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 

    -------

    That's all for this month.  We're always looking to do more for our members, and we hope these newsletters offer folks a taste of the services, benefits, and vital industry knowledge that folks get access to as a part of their membership.  If you aren't a member already, don't hesitate to contact our staff about how to get involved.

    Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.

    Respectfully,

    Jesse Bontecou
    Deputy Director

  • 21 Sep 2018 5:57 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)


    ORCA Sept. 
    2018 Newsletter

    Hello and Happy Friday to all of you cannabis industry folks out there. 

    First things first, ORCA Members need to RSVP to our monthly meeting as soon as possible, because it's this coming Monday, Sept. 24th, and the ICBC folks will be there raffling off a pair of VIP Passes (Value $1200) to their conference in Portland next week!

    Cannabis policy is making so much progress at the local, national, and international level - it would be impossible to cover it all.  One thing is clear, however - Oregon is at the cutting edge of progressive cannabis policy right now. 

    We are driving the conversations nationally on issues like social consumption, legal export, and more! With the nation's eyes on us, it is imperative that we all come together and make these policies become law.  

    In this newsletter, we're going to cover as much of it as you can reasonably be expected to read when you're checking your email.  Here we go:

    Oregon Update

    The legislative session is just 4 months away, and voting for the November election starts in just 28 days!  If you are interested in what ORCA is working on or have ideas about what we should be pushing for, be sure to become a member to receive our weekly update emails and to follow our progress in Salem on your behalf!

    It's also hugely important that folks participate in their local elections, and directly engage the folks who represent them in the capital - especially their State Senators and Representatives.  If you don't know yours, you can find them here:

    Find Your Legislator

    Cannabis Voter Registration

    While we are on the subject of the November election - Make sure that you, your family, your co-workers, and/or staff are registered to vote. It only takes a minute and can be done online at TurboVote.org.

    If you want to do more, we are asking cannabis businesses to put up this simple 9"x11" poster to help remind employees and customers to register to vote.  It was produced by local volunteers with Indivisible, a nonpartisan group that wanted to help register cannabis consumers to vote. 

    To receive physical copies of the poster(s) just email Jesse Bontecou with ORCA and we will get them in the mail to you right away.

    OLCC licensing news - As of Sept. 19th, Oregon has 2026 active Licensees an increase 25 of licenses since our last Newsletter. In that same time period, 20 more businesses surrendered their licenses, 19 of which were farms. 


    Federal Policy Updates 


    Congress is back in session and we are seeing some action on cannabis bills again. 

    As proven by Sen. Feinstein finally seeing the light and adding her name to the STATES Act, cannabis activism is working! Our allies keep increasing in number while our enemies continue to become fewer and further between.

    Here's some of what's been happening that's relevant to the work we're doing:

    1) 2018 Farm Bill and Hemp - Congress held its first bicameral Conference Committee meeting for the 2018 Farm Bill on Sept. 5th.  As expected Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) flexed his muscles letting everyone know how excited he is about the hemp provision. The legislation is expected to pass and could be a B.F.D.

    2)  Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws (H.R.6589) - Picked up two new co-sponsors including Oregon's own Rep. Earl Blumenauer. If passed the bill would protect federal employees who use cannabis in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence. 

    An Oregon version of this bill, covering all employers and employees is, one of ORCA's top legislative priorities for 2019 so stay tuned for more!

    3) Madeline Martinez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucuses - Oregon's own Madeline Martinez did an incredible job speaking in front of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute about "the criminal justice, economic and public health aspects of cannabis legalization."  Read more!


    International Update


    South Africa's Constitutional Court - Unanimously ruled on Sept. 18th, that the country's ban on the personal use and cultivation of cannabis is unconstitutional, thus, legalizing it.  Basically, South Africa is now in the same situation as Vermont.  Another month and another new country where cannabis is essentially legal bringing the total to six (not counting the US).

    The European Union - Is working to unify the laws regulating medical cannabis inside each member country and create a global policy across the Union. As compassionate global citizens, ORCA is working hard so that Oregon's Farmers can make sure they don't have any supply and demand issues!

    The Caribean Community - Progressive Cannabis legislation is making big strides amongst the 15 member countries. Efforts to do everything from decriminalizing, to expungement of convictions, to medical legalization have been moving forward.

    Mexico, Export, and NAFTA - ORCA isn't the only one working towards cannabis export, former Mexican President Vincente Fox is pushing for cannabis to be included in NAFTA. 

    To get a decent summary of the medical and recreational countries and their laws just click the map above.



    Snapshot:


    Sept. ORCA Member Meeting - Portland, OR Sept. 24th

    Our September meeting will focus on two of our biggest legislative priorities cannabis export and social consumption. We will also hear from Logan Gilles, Chief Policy Advisor to Sen. Dembrow. As always we'll also enjoy socializing with appetizers and drinks provided by Cultiva Law and pre-roll samples provided by our members.


    September 2018 ORCA Meeting - Portland
    Monday, August 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm
    @ Cultiva Law
    222 NW Davis St, Suite 420, Portland, OR 97209

    **OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY**
    Not a member yet? Join Today

    Check-in: 6:00-6:30pm
    Meeting begins: 6:30pm
    Agenda commences: 6:45pm (we will start promptly)
    Social Hour: 7:30pm - 8:30pm


    Our membership meetings are very valuable opportunities for our industry to develop essential relationships with elected officials and they are a lot of fun so RSVP today!


    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR September 27-28

    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is coming up next week. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible this is one of the most informative and valuable events in the industry.

    ORCA Members - The ICBC is offering up to $200 off on tickets if you register before Sept. 26th (Members use code "orcavip").  This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!


    The ICBC will provide attendees with the latest information on state and federal issues with sharp insight into the growing national and global industries. Additionally, it always provides top-notch networking opportunities with investors, entrepreneurs, and activists. 

    ORCA Member Discount only last till the 26th. Tickets are $449 ($299 - ORCA Members) for the conference or $599 ($399 - ORCA Members) for the conference + VIP party. 

    This event is expected to sell out so register today!

    ORCA Members use the code "orcavip" at checkout to get your discount. This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!


    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-11

    What do 1000 retailers from all over the west coast have in common? They are going to be at RAD EXPO in Portland. This B2B event is 100% focused on marijuana retail and dispensary businesses and is dedicated making sure that the Northwest is home to the best industry conference in the country. 

    Admission is FREE (As it should be!) for all industry folks, store owners, and buyers, so register today at, www.theradexpo.com They make this event as accessible as possible to the industry to ensure that the networking and is truly top shelf. 


    Hey Vendors - As great ORCA members, they are offering ORCA members 33% off Exhibitor booths (Use Code "ORCA33"at checkout). This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

    The Retail & Dispensary Expo is the Cannabis industry’s only retail-focused conference. It brings together the largest gathering of industry retail owners and operators country. (RAD is NOT a grow show!). The event offers unique networking opportunities to show off the latest technologies and business solutions for cannabis retailers.

    RAD is business only. Attendance is free to industry professionals.

    Portland is the ideal location for the event as Oregon dispensaries can sell a wide variety of non-Cannabis products.

    For more information contact their sales manager at, ryan@marijuanaventure.com or 425-656-3621


    The DOPE CUP Oregon 2018 - Portland, OR OCT 28

    The DOPE Cup, one of the most anticipated cannabis competitions in the country, continues to elevate its game through a highly transparent and technical judging process coupled with an evening of food, friends, and music. This year the DOPE Cup carries on its tradition as Oregon’s High-Halloween on Sunday, October 28, 2018. 

    Growers and Processors, there is still time enter the competition and show why Oregon has the best cannabis in the country. The deadline for entries is October 10, 2018 5pm PST!


    What To Expect - The 2018 Oregon DOPE Cup will bring together the Oregon Cannabis Community for one night. Music will be a highlight of the night with local artists and a special guest performance from the Wu Tang Clans - Ghostface Killah. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from some of Portland's top Food Carts. The night will conclude with the DOPE Cup Awards Ceremony.

    RSVP for Free genneral admission into the 2018 Oregon DOPE Cup. *No cannabis is included with ticket. Must be 21+ with ID

    VIP Experience - Grab a VIP Experience pass ($35.00) to gain access to the exclusive VIP Lounge where guests will enjoy complimentary food and beverages along with a coveted swag bag with gifts from our partners. *No cannabis is included with ticket. Must be 21+ with ID


    Monthly Retail Sales Report

    We've got another of our monthly retail sales reports, courtesy of BDS Analytics, outlining exactly where the industry is moving and by how much.  Take a look.


    [Full Report Available As A PDF]


    BDS Analytics gets their data directly from cannabis retailers with whom they've partnered, and they use statistical modeling to get a highly accurate picture of what's happening in the statewide market.  What they've put together here is a great high-level summary of the Oregon market and an excellent overview of category and pricing data that we're able to share more broadly.
     
    This, of course, is just a snapshot of what they can offer businesses in terms of data, analytics, and insight.  Specific brand-level and product-level sales data is updated monthly and available on a subscription basis for producers and processors, and they're currently reporting in OR, CA, WA, and CO - with more to come soon.

    Contact BDS Analytics' staff in Oregon to learn more about how they can help.




    Together We Stand, Divided We Fall - Join Today!

    The driving mission of ORCA and our 300+ members is to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry through lobbying, advocacy, and community organizing. To this end, our primary focus right now is on fixing regulations and statues to improve the business environment for the industry.

    This is very challenging, but every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain.  With trade associations, what is accomplished is always ultimately going to be a function of resources - so growing our membership is absolutely vital to our continued success.  

    If you are not a member yet, sign up today and add your voice to the fight! 


    Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 
    -------


    That's all for this month.  We're always looking to do more for our members, and we hope these newsletters offer folks a taste of the services, benefits, and vital industry knowledge that folks get access to as a part of their membership.  If you aren't a member already, don't hesitate to contact our staff about how to get involved.

    Or, if you're already convinced, you can join online right now by visiting our website.

    Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.


    Respectfully,

    Jesse Bontecou
    Deputy Director


    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Assoc.
    Upcoming Events

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a member-supported non-profit trade association that fights for smart cannabis policy on behalf of our 300+ members in support of a vibrant retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon.

    Become a member and help us fight for a thriving, safe, and respected legal cannabis industry - Join Now!



    September 24th - ORCA Members Meeting - Portland, OR

    September 27-28 - International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR

    October 10-11The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR

    October 28th - DOPE Cup Oregon - Portland, OR 


  • 24 Aug 2018 7:31 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)


    ORCA August 2018 Newsletter

    I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer and that the fires and smoke aren't hurting your businesses. As always seems to be the case in the summer and early fall there are a ton of great events coming up, including our August Membership Meeting and the Cannabis Science Conference next week.

    Be sure to check out all the events below as they can be really valuable and are offering discounts to our members.

    To those who are getting our newsletter for the first time - welcome, we hope that you enjoy it. We send this out once a month, giving you a quick rundown of Oregon events, industry news, market trends, and political/policy developments. With that let's get started... 

    State, Federal, and International Updates


    Federal Policy Updates 

    As the US House is officially on summer recess and everyone is focusing on their elections in November not much has happened in DC since our July Newsletter, so I will keep this short and sweet.

    1) 2018 Farm Bill - Hemp legalization is still looking good!  Everyone is very confident that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will get hemp legalized sometime this fall. 

    2)  Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act (H.R.6589)- This is a great bipartisan bill that was introduced by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA).  If passed the bill would prohibit, "marijuana metabolite testing from being used as the sole factor to deny or terminate federal employment for civilian positions at executive branch agencies if the individual is in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence."

    We at ORCA think this is a great idea, so much so that we have been working for months to lay the ground for a bill that would essentially do the same thing at the state level but for all employers and employees, (it will have the appropriate exceptions of course). 

    3) Employee Engagement Trends in the Cannabis Industry - The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) recently released the results of its Employee Engagement & Satisfaction survey. It collected and analyzed data about employee satisfaction, employee desires around benefits, employee demographics, and employee opportunities to engage their communities. Its a really interesting read especially the part about community engagement! 

    International Update


    On July 30th, Georgia's Constitutional Court abolished the punishments for the consumption of cannabis. So while you can't legally grow or sell cannabis you can now consume it, making Georgia the 5th country (not counting the US) where recreational cannabis consumption is effectively legal. 

    To get a decent summary of the medical and recreational countries and their laws just click the map above.

    States Update



    Oregon Update - 

    The legislative session is five months away but legislators are already working on their priorities and we are beginning to see early versions of bills and legislative concepts dealing with cannabis. If you are interested in what ORCA is working on or have ideas about what we should be pushing for, please reach out to Jesse Bontecou ASAP.

    The November election, on the other hand, is just three months away and two Oregon cities, Klamath Falls and Ontario, will be campaigning to end their local cannabis prohibition.  The initiative for Klamath Falls has already qualified and will be on the ballot in November. Ontario's should be right behind them as MalheurCAN turned in twice the number of signatures needed to qualify. Klamath Strong and MalheurCAN are working hard but can use all the help they can get, so reach out and support them today!

    Cannabis Voter Registration

    While we are on the subject of the November election - Please make sure that you, your family, your co-workers, and/or staff are registered to vote. It only takes a minute and can be done online at TurboVote.org.

    If you want to do more, we are asking cannabis businesses to put up this simple 9"x11" poster to help remind employees and customers to register to vote.  It was produced by local volunteers with Indivisible, a nonpartisan group that wanted to help register cannabis consumers to vote. 

    To get a poster(s) just email Jesse Bontecouwith ORCA and we will get them in the mail to you right away.

    OLCC licensing news - As of Aug. 16th Oregon has 2001 Active Licenses an increase of 33 licenses since our last Newsletter.  

    Missouri - Is suffering from too much success. Three different medical cannabis measures, sponsored by three different groups all qualified for the November ballot. This has lead to one lawsuit and a potentially confusing and self-destructive ballot situation for voters. While we hope everything will be worked out quickly this is a reminder of how not being united as an industry can be very costly. 

    North Dakota - Might get recreational cannabis before New York. On Monday their recreational measure qualified for the November ballot.  With polls showing North Dakotans giving legalization a 7 point lead the Legalize ND campaign is confident that they will be celebrating come election night. 

    Oklahoma - Medical Patients will be able to access smokeable Cannabis after all.  The Governor had to rescind the restrictive rules the OK Board of Health initially passed as they were so restrictive as to be unconstitutional

    Utah - Anti-medical cannabis folks in Utah seem a little afraid of the ballot box as they recently filed their 2nd lawsuit to stop the Utah Medical Cannabis Act from appearing on the November ballot. We hope this latest Hail Mary is resoundingly rejected by the courts and the voters get to decide, you know like in a democracy!  As 72% of Utah's voters support the ballot measure we should get to celebrate one more state ending prohibition this fall. 

    CANNABIS  EVENTS:

    There's a ton of events coming up throughout the summer where ORCA will have a strong presence, and we'd love to see you there if you're able.

    Snapshot:

    • August 27th - August ORCA Members Meeting - Portland, OR
    • August 28-29 - Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR
    • September 27-28 - International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR
    • October 10-11 - The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR


    August ORCA Member Meeting w/ Rep. Diego Hernandez - Portland, OR July August 27th

    We are just 7 days out from our next ORCA Members Meeting.  We will get to hear from one of Oregon's youngest and most engaging policymakers, Rep. Diego Hernandez(Members and invited guests only).


    August 2018 ORCA Meeting - Portland
    Monday, August 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm
    @ Cultiva Law
    222 NW Davis St, Suite 420, Portland, OR 97209

    **OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY**
    Not a member yet? Join Today

    Check-in: 6:00-6:30pm
    Meeting begins: 6:30pm
    Agenda commences: 6:45pm (we will start promptly)
    Social Hour: 7:30pm - 8:30pm


    Our membership meetings are very valuable opportunities for our industry to develop essential relationships with elected officials and they are a lot of fun so RSVP today!

    Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR August 28-29

    We are just 8 days out from the Cannabis Science Conference! It is the world's largest science and technology cannabis event.  There is no better place to learn about the cutting edge science and tech that is the foundation of so much in our industry.

    Their jam-packed program ensures you get to learn from leading cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, and policy influencers. More importantly, they are giving a 25% discount to ORCA Members for Full-Access registration (Use Code "CSC25").


    The Cannabis Science Conference is dedicated to improving cannabis science and bringing the latest technology to the industry and its customers. Register Today!

    Don't forget the 25% off Full-Access registration for ORCA Members (Code "CSC25"). This discount is not applicable to the 2018 Canna Boot Camp.

    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR September 27-28

    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is coming up at the end of September. This year the ICBC will be introducing its first "Mom and Pop Pitch Event" for Oregon's craft cannabis businesses. 

    Sign up today to pitch your business to investors and entrepreneurs at the International Cannabis Business Conference. A panel of judges will award one local business $10,000, but the opportunity to present in front of the sold-out ICBC crowd could prove to be even more lucrative. Please see this blog for more details: Mom and Pop Pitch Event

    This is set to be ICBC's best conference yet and they are giving an ORCA member discount on tickets (Members use code "orcavip").  This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!


    The ICBC will provide attendees with the latest information on state and federal issues with sharp insight into the growing national and global industries. Additionally, it always provides top-notch networking opportunities with investors, entrepreneurs, and activists. 

    Early bird pricing only last until September 12th. Tickets are $349 ($249 - ORCA Members) for the conference or $499 ($349 - ORCA Members) for the conference + VIP party. 

    This event is expected to sell out so register today!

    ORCA Members use the code "orcavip" at checkout to get your discount. This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-11

    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) Expo is coming back to Portland because of its huge success last January. This unique B2B event is 100% focused on marijuana retail and dispensary businesses and is dedicated making sure that the Northwest is home to the best industry conference in the country. 

    The RAD Expo is FREE for cannabis retail and dispensary owners, buyers and employees so register today They do this to ensure that the quality of attendees and networking is truly top shelf and retail-centric. 


    Hey Vendors - As great ORCA members, they are offering ORCA members 33% off Exhibitor booths (Use Code "ORCA33"). This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

    Tickets & More Information: www.theRADexpo.com
    Phone: (425) 656-3621
    Email: theradexpo@gmail.com

    “The RAD Expo is the only conference where we know almost everyone we talk to will be a potential client or partner because its focus on retail and brands,” ~ Jeff LaPenna, CEO of The Peak Beyond, a technology company aimed at retailers.

    Monthly Retail Sales Report

    We've got another of our monthly retail sales reports, courtesy of BDS Analytics, outlining exactly where the industry is moving and by how much.  Take a look.


    [Full Report Available As A PDF]


    BDS Analytics gets their data directly from cannabis retailers with whom they've partnered, and they use statistical modeling to get a highly accurate picture of what's happening in the statewide market.  What they've put together here is a great high-level summary of the Oregon market and an excellent overview of category and pricing data that we're able to share more broadly.
     
    This, of course, is just a snapshot of what they can offer businesses in terms of data, analytics, and insight.  Specific brand-level and product-level sales data is updated monthly and available on a subscription basis for producers and processors, and they're currently reporting in OR, CA, WA, and CO - with more to come soon.

    Contact BDS Analytics' staff in Oregon to learn more about how they can help.


    Together We Stand, Divided We Fall - Join Today!

    The driving mission of ORCA and our 300+ members is to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry through lobbying, advocacy, and community organizing. To this end, our primary focus right now is on fixing regulations and statues to improve the business environment for the industry.

    This is very challenging but every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain.  With trade associations, what is accomplished is always ultimately going to be a function of resources - so growing our membership is vital to our successes.  

    If you are not a member yet, sign up today and add your voice to the fight! 


    Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 

    -------

    That's all for this month.  We're always looking to do more for our members, and we hope these newsletters offer folks a taste of the services, benefits, and vital industry knowledge that folks get access to as a part of their membership.  If you aren't a member already, don't hesitate to contact our staff about how to get involved.

    Or, if you're already convinced, you can join online right now by visiting our website.

    Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.

    Respectfully,

    Jesse Bontecou
    Deputy Director


  • 23 Jul 2018 8:23 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

    ORCA July 2018 Newsletter

    Good morning, and we hope this month's newsletter finds everyone well and that this heat wave is heating things up appropriately at the retail level.  We're hearing from a lot of our members that the sunny weather has led to a robust increase in traffic, and we hope that continues through the summer.

    It's been a precarious time for those of us tracking the inner workings of government, particularly on the federal side.  That's been one of the biggest areas taking up our bandwidth, so we wanted to take some time to share with folks what's going on, what we've been doing to help, and what we've got coming up in the weeks and months ahead - and more importantly, how you can get involved in our efforts!

    State, Federal, and International Updates

    Federal Policy Updates 


    The ORCA team headed to Washington D.C. at the end of May to participate in NCIA's National Lobby Days. We had some very productive meetings with friends and foes alike and as always meet with Oregon's terrific Congressional delegation - not counting Rep. Greg Walden, who still needs work before he comes around. Importantly, we communicated to Rep. BlumenauerRep. DefazioSen. Wyden, and Sen. Merkley'soffices how crucially important exporting cannabis nationally and internationally will be to the success of Oregon's legal cannabis industry.

    Of course, we also advocated in our meetings for 280E reform, banking reform, criminal justice reform, and legal protections from the DOJ for both the medical and recreational market.  Fortunately, progress is not just happening in the polls - more good things are unfolding with federal policy.  Below is a quick rundown of some of what is happening.

    1) Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act - This new bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the House. NCIA is actively working to add cosponsors at this very moment.  If this bill were to pass, it would address most of the issues facing both the cannabis and hemp industry, including 280E and banking restrictions.

    What it does is exempt state-legal cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act so its provisions no longer apply to a person acting in compliance with state laws. In addition, it excludes hemp from the federal definition of cannabis - removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.

    This bill is getting a lot of attention because it is in a better position for passage (though still not great) than any other major cannabis bill that has been introduced. Sen. Warren has reported that Sen. McConnell has promised to allow a floor vote and Pres. Trump said "I support Sen. Gardner. I know exactly what he is doing. We're looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that. Yes." 

    To learn more about the bill, click the link above and feel free to call your Congressperson to tell them about your support for this bill -- especially if you live in Rep. Walden's District (and if you're not sure, ask us!)

    2) 2018 Farm Bill - Speaking of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) he successfully introduced hemp legalization into the farm bill that passed out of Senate. Now it just has to survive the House - their Farm Bill did not have hemp language. This is probably the bill most likely to pass in 2018.

    3) Senate and House Committee Appropriations Bills  - Both committees passed appropriation bills that include provisions which prevent the DOJ from using any resources to target medical cannabis patients or providers who are in compliance with state laws. While this is good news, it is just a continuation of current policy. Unfortunately, efforts to extend these protections to recreational cannabis failed, as did efforts to include protections for banks working with the legal cannabis businesses. But we (and our national counterparts) are not giving up, and will continue this fight.

    4) The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced the bill he announced on 4/20.  Similar to the STATES Act, it removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act -essentially decriminalizing cannabis federally and allowing states to set their own policies.  It also provides funds to help expunge cannabis convictions and support Cannabis businesses owned by women, people of color, and other historically marginalized populations.

    All in all, this is a really strong indicator that the winds are moving in our direction.  It is typical to see many different variants of a bill or a concept when an issue is on the verge of passing into law.  In this sense, we have made tremendous strides - and victory against the forces of federal cannabis prohibition is definitely on the horizon.

    International Update

    The United States is far from the only game in town right now when it comes to changes in national cannabis policies around the world. Canada, of course, is on its way to full legalization in October.  Uruguay has been there for years already.  Now the question is, is Mexico going to legalize cannabis too? The new President has indicated he is open to legalization and his pick for Interior Secretary has made her intentions clear, stating that she would “seek the decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use." Also, Vincente Fox, Mexico's former President has joined the board of High Times

    Across the pond, legalization is making progress too. Polling in France now shows that "51 percent of French people favor the legalization of cannabis." 

    States Update


    Oregon Update - The ORCA team has our heads buried in statutes and rules as we work on our 2019 legislative priorities. These include but aren't limited to interstate compacts for export, public consumption spaces, automatic expunction of criminal records, and fixing B2B sampling and transportation issues.  We are also prepping for our July 30th Members Meeting with Sen. Lew Frederick, (Members -- don't forget to RSVP!!).   

    In OLCC news, 1001 NEW applications for licenses were submitted between the announcement in May of a licensing 'pause' and the June 15th 'deadline'.  The sheer number of applications is clear evidence of how essential legal export is to the success of the Oregon industry.  It also increases the importance of ORCA's work in the 2019 legislative session, as we have to make sure that the 'pause' doesn't turn into legislation that is damaging to existing businesses or certain areas of the state.


    If you want to help ensure that Oregon has the best cannabis policy in the country, join ORCA now and adding your voice to the fights that lie ahead. You will not only strengthen our voice in the legislature but also get great benefits like event discounts and weekly wholesale flower reports - Join Today!

    California - Efforts to create a banking solution in California are rolling ahead. Senate Bill 930 was successfully passed out of the CA Senate in May. At the end of June passed out of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.  It must pass at least one more committee before going to the Assembly for a floor vote. If passed the bill would allow for banks and credit unions overseen by the Department of Business Oversight to issue checks "that could be used to pay state or local fees and taxes, rent or cost of goods including cannabis goods, or to buy state or local bonds or warrants." Read more about it at the link above.

    Massachusetts - Speaking of banking according to the Boston Business Journal (subscription required) the only bank serving the industry in Massachusetts is charging $5000.00 a month (!!) for a checking account. 

    Oklahoma - OK became the 30th medical marijuana state on June 26th. Voters in the state passed its liberal medical marijuana measure with a 13.7% margin of victory (56.86% to 43.1%).  However, this month the OK Board of Health issued emergency rules that banned smokeable cannabisfrom sale by dispensaries.  This action has led to the filing of two lawsuits to undo these rules.  Additionally, the folks behind a ballot measure that would legalize recreational cannabis announced they almost have enough signatures to get the measure onto Oklahoma's November ballot.

    New York - This month the New York Department of Health issued a 75-page report supporting cannabis legalization and NY Gov. Cuomo seems to be moving towards support for broader reform as well.

    New Jersey - NJ may become the next state to legalize recreational cannabis through the legislature as both the Governor and the Senate President support it. Legalization efforts, however, have stalled in the legislature because of conflicts over the state budget. That said, they're also worried about a supply problem if they go legal too quickly. If only there was a state with excess cannabis that could be legally exported...

    Fun With Polling: 


    As proven by Oklahoma's results, national support for cannabis legalization continues to grow and grow and grow like a weed. Just since January, support has increased by 10% now, and over two-thirds (68%) of Americans support legalization -- including 57% of Republicans. The legalization train has definitely left the station and is not likely to go back.

    The level of support is so strong, we now have clear majority support in both conservative and liberal states across the country: 53% In Texas(84% for medical), 59% in New Jersey55% in Georgia, and 63% in NY.

    CANNABIS  EVENTS:

    There's a ton of events coming up throughout the summer where ORCA will have a strong presence, and we'd love to see you there if you're able.

    Snapshot:

    • July 25-27 - NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit & EXPO - San Jose, CA
    • July 30th - ORCA Member Meeting - Portland, OR
    • August 4-5 - INDO EXPO - Portland, OR
    • August 27-29 - Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR
    • September 27-28 - International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR
    • October 10-11 - The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR


    July ORCA Member Meeting w/ Sen. Lew Frederick - Portland, OR July 30th

    ORCA next great members meeting is just a couple weeks away.  We will get to host one of Oregon's leading policymakers, State Senator Lew FrederickRSVP Today,(Members and invited guests only).



    July 2018 ORCA Meeting - Portland
    Monday, July 30th, 6:30-8:30 pm
    @ Cultiva Law
    222 NW Davis St, Suite 420, Portland, OR 97209

    **OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY**
    Not a member yet? Join Today

    Check-in: 6:00-6:30pm
    Meeting begins: 6:30pm
    Agenda commences: 7:00pm
    Social Hour: 7:30pm - 8:30pm


    Sen. Frederick has been a presence in the Oregon legislature for years.  He hasn't had to deal with many cannabis-related policy issues in the past, which makes it all that much more important that we show up in full force to speak our minds and educate our lawmakers about what needs to be the focus of their efforts in Salem.

    NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit & EXPO - San Jose, CA July 25-17th.

    This great event is one of the industries largest and most influential cannabis event of the year and is 90% SOLD OUT! So if you are looking for a reason to head down to California this is it - Register Today. NCIA is extending a 15% discount to anyone who is not an NCIA Member (Code "AAP15") and tickets are just $150 for all Dispensary owners, Cultivators, and Infused Product Manufacturers.


    The Cannabis Business Summit & Expo is NCIA's largest industry gathering with more than 7,000 of the industry's leaders, entrepreneurs, and newcomers coming together.

    INDO EXPO Portland, OR August 4-5, 2018

    One of our great members the INDO EXPO trade show is thrilled to be returning to Portland for its pre-harvest show August 4th-5th. The best part, industry professionals get a FREE 2-Day Pass that includes ALL Exhibits, Demonstration, and Seminars if you register early.  If you want a booth the INDO EXPO is giving ORCA members a great discount for exhibitor booths.


    INDO EXPO is a literal a "grapevine" for the Industry, with leading experts in every vertical in attendance. It will feature 300+ exhibitors, 5000+ attendees, and the Industrial Hemp Pavilion so don't miss out.:

    PRE-REGISTER NOW FOR FREE ADMISSION

    Booth Discount: Indo Expo is giving ORCA members a great discount for exhibitor booths. Just email Jesse Bontecou for details and get your discount code - Jesse@oregoncannabisretailers.com.

    Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR August 27-29

    The Cannabis Science Conference is the world's largest and most technical cannabis event and is coming back to Oregon Convention center in Portland, OR Aug. 27-29. 

    It pulls together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, policy makers and interested novices. Most importantly they are giving a 25% discount to ORCA Members for Full-Access registration (Use Code "CSC25").


    The Cannabis Science Conference is dedicated to improving cannabis science and bringing the latest technology to the industry and its customers. Register Today!

    Don't forget the 25% off Full-Access registration for ORCA Members (Code "CSC25"). This discount is not applicable to the 2018 Canna Boot Camp.

    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR September 27-28

    The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is coming to Portland, Oregon Sept. 27-28. As always it will provide attendees the latest information on local, state, national, and international cannabis policy and give business what they need to get to the next level. 

    This is set to be their best conference yet and they are giving an ORCA member discount on tickets (Members use code "orcavip").  This discount is only good at time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!


    The ICBC will provide attendees with the latest information on state and federal issues with sharp insight into the growing national and global industries. Additionally, it always provides top-notch networking opportunities with investors, entrepreneurs, and activists. 

    Early bird pricing of $349 ($299 - ORCA Members) for the conference or $499 ($399 - ORCA Members) for the conference plus VIP party only last until September 12th. This event is expected to sell out so register today!

    ORCA Members use the code "orcavip" at checkout to get your discount. This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-11

    The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) Expo is coming back to Portland October 10-11, Because of its huge success in January. This unique B2B event is 100% focused on marijuana retail and dispensary businesses and is dedicated making sure that the Northwest is home to the best industry conference in the country. 

    The RAD Expo is FREE for cannabis retail and dispensary owners, buyers and employees so register today This ensures that the quality of attendees and networking is top shelf.   


    As great ORCA members, the RAD EXPO is offering ORCA members 25% off booths (Use Code "ORCA25").

    Tickets & More Information: www.theRADexpo.com
    Phone: (425) 656-3621
    Email: theradexpo@gmail.com

    “The RAD Expo is the only conference where we know almost everyone we talk to will be a potential client or partner because its focus on retail and brands,” ~ Jeff LaPenna, CEO of The Peak Beyond, a technology company aimed at retailers.


    Monthly Retail Sales Report

    We've got another of our monthly retail sales reports, courtesy of BDS Analytics, outlining exactly where the industry is moving and by how much.  Take a look.


    [Full Report Available As A PDF]


    BDS Analytics gets their data directly from cannabis retailers with whom they've partnered, and they use statistical modeling to get a highly accurate picture of what's happening in the statewide market.  What they've put together here is a great high-level summary of the Oregon market and an excellent overview of category and pricing data that we're able to share more broadly.
     
    This, of course, is just a snapshot of what they can offer businesses in terms of data, analytics, and insight.  Specific brand-level and product-level sales data is updated monthly and available on a subscription basis for producers and processors, and they're currently reporting in OR, CA, WA, and CO - with more to come soon.

    Contact BDS Analytics' staff in Oregon to learn more about how they can help.

    Together We Stand, Divided We Fall - Join Today!

    Many hands make light work. It's a simple statement but one ORCA lives by every day. Our industry needs a lot of very challenging regulatory reforms. These essential reforms, however difficult, are entirely achievable if as an industry we come together and speak with one voice for a singular vision. 

    This is the driving mission of ORCA and our 300+ members.  Every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain.  With a group like ours, what we accomplish is always ultimately going to be a function of our resources - so growing our membership is vital to our successes.  

    If you are not a member yet, sign up today and add your voice to the fight! 


    Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 

    -------

    That's all for this month.  We're always looking to do more for our members, and we hope these newsletters offer folks a taste of the services, benefits, and vital industry knowledge that folks get access to as a part of their membership.  If you aren't a member already, don't hesitate to contact our staff about how to get involved.

    Or, if you're already convinced, you can join online right now by visiting our website.

    Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.

    Respectfully,

    Casey Houlihan,
    Executive Director

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Assoc. Upcoming Events

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a member-supported non-profit trade association that fights for smart cannabis policy on behalf of our 300+ members in support of a vibrant retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon.

    Become a member and help us fight for a thriving, safe, and respected legal cannabis industry - Join Now!



     July 25-27 - NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit & EXPO - San Jose, CA

    July 30th - ORCA Member Meeting - Portland, OR

    August 4-5 - INDO EXPO - Portland, OR

    August 27-29 - Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR

    September 27-28 - International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR

    October 10-11 - The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR


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