OLCC resuming processing new marijuana adult-use Retailer, Wholesaler, and Processor License Applications

by Lindsey Daniel

The Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission (the “OLCC”) announced that they have resumed processing new marijuana adult-use Retailer, Wholesaler, and Processor license applications submitted after June 15, 2018.

On Monday, November 8th, the OLCC released a Bulletin in which they announced that they have begun processing new retailer, wholesaler, and processor license applications for the first time since their June 15, 2018 “pause” on the processing of these application types. The OLCC’s decision to begin processing new retailer, wholesaler, and processor applications comes without forewarning to the industry, despite previous assurances that advance notice would be provided.

At this time the OLCC has not publicly communicated what, if any, limitations or timelines they will impose as they begin processing new retailer, wholesale, and processor applications. However, agency representatives have told our attorneys that they will start by processing the 3-year backlog of applications submitted after June 15, 2018, but before yesterday’s announcement, which would mean a significant wait for applicants submitting new applications today.

The OLCC’s Bulletin did not affirmatively state whether or not the OLCC would begin processing new producer license applications upon Senate Bill 218’s January 2, 2022 sunset, but the agency will begin accepting producer applications in January.

For those who don’t recall, The Oregon State Legislature passed Senate Bill 218 in 2018 to place a moratorium on the processing of new producer license applications submitted after June 15, 2018, until January 2, 2022. The OLCC has previously communicated that they will seek a 2-year extension on the producer application moratorium during the 2022 legislative session, but we are awaiting clarity on whether new producer applications will be processed during the period between January 2, 2022 and the agency’s receipt of direction from the legislature.

As many OLCC licensees are currently feeling the negative effects of a downward market shift, the OLCC’s decision to begin processing new applications is puzzling and will likely have negative effects on existing OLCC licensees who are already struggling.

If you have questions about the OLCC’s decision to reinstate the processing of new Retailer, Wholesaler, and Processor applications or about whether the Producer license moratorium will be extended beyond the bill’s January 2, 2022 sunset, please contact us at lindsey@gleamlaw.com or mia@gleamlaw.com.