New Tracking Requirements for Medical Cannabis

In the 2017 Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislature passed SB 1057, which requires growers, processors and dispensaries registered under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) to start utilizing the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) in 2018 (with the exception of medical patients growing for their own use). Starting in 2018, OMMP registrants will have two options: (1) stay with the OMMP and start tracking with CTS, or (2) transfer their registration to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)…and start tracking with CTS. No matter how you slice it, 2018 is bringing more stringent tracking requirements on medical cannabis.

One of the stated goals of SB 1057 was to reduce the amount of cannabis entering the black market. In theory, by placing greater tracking requirements on medical cannabis, it makes it harder for product to “disappear,” and be sold illegally. Perhaps more importantly, the new rules should bolster Oregon’s position that they are strictly complying with the Cole Memorandum enforcement priorities.

This summer US Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote to Governor Kate Brown expressing “concerns” over Oregon’s compliance with the Cole Memorandum (Click here to read more about the Cole Memo and its implications on federal cannabis enforcement). If the federal government were to find enough “concern” over the way Oregon is regulating cannabis, they could justify intervention within the state. Let hope these new tracking requirements help slow the flow of threatening letters from the federal government.

Currently, the OMMP only requires monthly report detailing the amount and type of product transferred between growers, processors, and dispensaries. Under the CTS, license holders are required to include ID numbers on all cannabis products and track their movement from production to consumer. This process is also colloquially referred to as the “seed-to-sale” tracking system.

Under SB 1057, OMMP registrants must notify the OMMP by December 1, 2017 of their decision to either stay in the OMMP or transfer to the OLCC. If they choose to stay in the OMMP, registrants will need to pay an additional fee of $480 and start tracking by July 1 , 2018.  Registrants who choose to transfer to the OLCC must submit an application to the OLCC before January 1, 2018. If an OMMP registrant fails to notify OMMP of their decision by December 1, or fails to submit a transfer application with the OLCC prior to January 1, 2018, their registration under OMMP will not be renewed. If you are currently registered under the OMMP and would like to speak with an attorney about how this new bill will affect you, please call us at (503) 206-6401.