Oregon has officially eased the barriers for entry for businesses looking to get involved in the world of legal weed. Prior to yesterday, Oregon required all applicant-holders to have lived in the state of Oregon for at least two years. After a long journey, Gov. Kate Brown signed to officially remove the two-year residency requirement for applicants. Now, anyone can apply for an Oregon recreational marijuana license. This opens many doors for out-of-state producers, processors and retailers who previously had overlooked Oregon. The Beaver state is now viewed as a prosperous opportunity to interested investors.
The Southern Oregon region has already seen an influx of farmers fleeing south from Washington’s harsh regulations and north from California’s drought and unregulated market. Producers, processors and retailers are hopeful that Oregon will fall somewhere in the middle of these two conflicting states. Oregon has made it clear that it wants to support small businesses, a reason why two-year residency was an original requirement. With the residency requirement completely removed, it allows for local producers and processors to seek out-of-state investment.
Some other major changes in Oregon’s recreational marijuana roll-out passed in this bill:
- Veterans are now able to purchase their medical marijuana cards at a discounted rate of $20 a year, as opposed to the regular price of $200 a year.
- Medical marijuana will be treated the same as prescription drugs when setting the conditions for people on pretrial release.
- All marijuana businesses will be able to deduct business expenses under the federal tax code when filing state tax returns.
- In response to complaints that receiving your official OMMP card takes too long, in some cases up to 5 months, Medical Marijuana patients will be able to use their completed OMMP (Oregon Medical Marijuana Patients) application to purchase tax-free medicine from stores.
Oregon is one of the fastest growing states for breweries, and it’s clear that the state is looking to replicate this economic-boosting model for the cannabis industry. In 2014 Oregon produced $35.7 million worth of hop crops,$2.83 million of which was donated to local charities by the brewing companies.
The cannabis industry has the ability to double or even triple these numbers while also providing tens of thousands of jobs, providing opportunity for Oregonians in years to come.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett