Much of the west coast of the United States is ablaze. As fires ravage much of Oregon, OLCC licensed recreational cannabis companies – most of whom have troublesome exclusions in their insurance policies – are scrambling to protect their livelihoods.

The OLCC sent out the below guidance this week, giving licensees clarification on options and requirements for moving product and providing for exceptions to a couple rules for licensees under evacuation orders. Licensees under evacuation orders can transfer their material and inventory to any licensee, regardless of license type and need not provide 24 hour advance notice to the OLCC for transfers to retailers over the weight limits listed in OAR 845-025-7700(3)(c). Note that METRC tracking and manifest requirements are not waived or modified and transfers that would typically require 24 hour advance notice under OAR 845-025-7700(3)(c) must still be noticed to the OLCC, even though the 24 hour advance notice requirement is waived.

If you need to evacuate product or have bandwidth to take evacuated product and need help matchmaking, please reach out to me at mia@gleamlaw.com or anyone else on our team. In addition to being able to answer questions, we can connect you with licensees who can help or who need help. We are also connected to the rest of the Oregon cannabis lawyer community and can blast out special requests if needed. – Mia Getlin

Guidance for OLCC Marijuana Licensees impacted by Oregon wildfires

September 8, 2020

Guidance for OLCC Marijuana Licensees

Impacted by Natural Disasters

Natural disasters throughout Oregon can affect us in a moment’s notice. Business owners should be aware of potential disasters and plan ahead. When those disasters strike you should pay attention to evacuation notices, what they mean, and what steps you need to take to prepare to leave your home or your licensed premises.  In some cases, the evacuation orders may come quickly, so it is important to be prepared.

Here is a list and description of evacuation levels: https://www.oregon.gov/osp/Docs/Evacuation-Levels.pdf

It is important to remember your safety and the safety of others is the first and foremost importance.

Marijuana Licensees: Transferring Marijuana

If emergency officials issue you a level 1 or 2 evacuation notice and you have time to safely transfer product from your licensed premises you need to do so through CTS using a valid transfer manifest and email OLCC at marijuana@oregon.gov including your license number and where and when you plan to transfer product.

DO NOT move the product to an unlicensed area.  During an actual emergency situation, such as wildfire evacuations, you may transfer your product to any licensee. For example: a producer can transfer to another producer for storage in an emergency evacuation. The rule regarding 24 hour notice on transfers of a certain weight will be waived in this situation. Make sure your CTS account is up to date and reflective of your current inventory and transfers.

If emergency officials issue you a level 3 evacuation order you should do so, even if that means leaving your licensed premises.  Once you are in a safe place, email the OLCC at marijuana@oregon.gov including your license number, and the address of your licensed premises so we are aware of the situation, and can track the regional impact.  Inform the OLCC if you have product left on site or if you transferred it to another licensee for storage.

When you are allowed to return to the licensed premises, check your inventory, if security cameras have been damaged take photos of the damage and email them to the OLCC at marijuana@oregon.gov, in addition to any other damage to the licensed premises caused by the fire.

If you transferred product to another licensee, do not request it to be transferred back until your buildings and cameras are operational, and your licensed premises can function according to OLCC rules.

**If you are located in a high risk area for fire you may want to have an emergency plan in place.  For example, if you are a producer planning to transfer product to another producer, make sure you know how your product will be separated from the other licensee(s) and the care it will receive.  It also may be helpful to have any terms or agreements in place prior to the actual emergency evacuation.