The Oregon Liquor Control Commission also presides over the recreational and medical marijuana industry statewide. Recently the OLCC approved a new regulation that will require Oregon marijuana cultivators to report every harvest as part of compliance.
The new cultivation regulation would essentially serve as an audit for each licensed cultivator and each harvest will monitored by a compliance inspector from the state. They will ensure that the amount of plants being input into the tracking software is correct and matches with the actual harvest.
Oregon marijuana cultivators have produced a large surplus of cannabis in recent months due to the optimal growing conditions and uncapped cultivation licenses. The increase in production has caused concern for regulators who worry that there are cultivators who may not be reporting all of their harvest.
Oregon Liquor Control Commission spokesman, Mark Pettinger, notes that, “A lot of growers are far-flung, but we have a concentration of inspectors in southern Oregon, and it’s the southern Oregon outdoor growing activity that has anecdotally and historically been sort of a crucible of where a lot of diversion and illegal activity takes place.”
Originally the new regulation mandated that licensed marijuana cultivators alert officials three days before the harvest but this was met with a lot of contention. They finally settled on notifying OLCC inspectors by 9 a.m. on the day of the harvest.
As of now there are only 23 inspectors statewide which would make it virtually impossible to audit every harvest, but Pettinger maintains that it's enough to promote good practices among growers. The potential of having an inspector show up on the day of the harvest will keep cultivators honest when entering their amounts.
Targeting Outdoor Cultivators
Many cultivators are taking offence at the new initiative and feel as if their place in the supply chain is being targeted. Oregon marijuana cultivators who specifically grow outdoor strains of cannabis are worried that their business will suffer from the new regulation. Outdoor crops typically only get one harvest a year, where as many indoor operations can often yield three harvests.
Anthony Johnson who led the campaign for recreational use in Oregon noted that, “If they’re really worried about diversion, it’s the unlicensed growers you have to worry about. These people I know, they’ve put so much investment into their grow that risking that isn’t really part of the equation.”