By Evan Barnes | Green Rush Consulting for the Daily Chronic
November 8, 2014
Oregon voters have legalized cannabis for adults – understand the details.
On November 4, Oregon’s Measure 91 passed the popular vote by 57% to 43%, making Oregon one of only 4 US states to end cannabis prohibition! This is a historic time, and represents an intelligent and progressive change in public policy.
Not only is cannabis one of the most medically useful plants known, but it is also safer than alcohol, and its legalization has positive impacts on public health. In other states that have legalized the use of cannabis by adults in some form, traffic fatalities have decreased, cannabis use by teens has not increased, and the rate of death from opioid pain killer overdoses has fallen. Hopefully, this marks the beginning of the end of our nation’s policy of cannabis prohibition.
As exciting as this is, if you live in Oregon, don’t run out into the streets to smoke it up in celebration just yet! For one thing, the public consumption of cannabis is not allowed under Measure 91.
Additionally, the portions of Measure 91 that legalize the use of cannabis don’t take effect until July 1, 2015. Until that time, Oregon’s decriminalization laws still apply, meaning that possession of less than one ounce of cannabis is still a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $650 fine.
Measure 91 establishes large possession limits for adults aged 21 and older, compared to other states that have fully legalized cannabis. Starting on July 1, 2015, adults aged 21 and over will be able to possess the following amounts of cannabis in the following forms: 8 ounces (one half pound) of usable cannabis flowers, limited to carrying 1 ounce in public; 16 ounces (one pound) of marijuana products in solid form (e.g., edibles – you could have a pound of cookies); 72 ounces of cannabis products in liquid form (e.g., cannabis-infused soda – this is a volume equivalent to a six pack of beers); and 1 ounce of cannabis extracts (e.g., CO2-, butane-, or alcohol-extracted hash, wax, or shatter).
One important note is that under Measure 91, homemade cannabis extracts (such as wax or shatter) are prohibited: no person may produce, process, keep, or store homemade marijuana extracts. Adults are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis extracts, but only if they are procured from a licensed cannabis retailer. Specifically, the law bans the home production of extracts through the use of solvents such as CO2, butane, hexane, and alcohol.
However, Measure 91 explicitly allows adults to infuse glycerin with cannabis. Unfortunately, glycerin is a poor solvent for cannabinoids. Because of the way this section of the law is written, it seems likely that making cannabis-infused olive oil or butter would probably also be allowable, especially since adults are allowed to make their own edibles at home.
Currently, the text of Measure 91 creates a bit of a gray area around homemade cannabis extracts. Because it defines marijuana extracts as those made with solvents, the case can be made that mechanically created concentrates, like kief or bubble hash, can legally be made at home. The process of making kief, certain kinds of hash, and bubble hash involve using mechanical processes, like sifting and agitation, to remove the cannabinoid-rich trichomes from the cannabis plant. These processes create concentrated cannabis products that can be as strong as solvent-based extracts, without the use of solvents, and are therefore likely to be allowed under the law.
In addition to establishing legal personal possession limits, Measure 91 also allows adults aged 21 and over to cultivate up to 4 cannabis plants of their own, as long as the plants are not visible from a public space. Growing four cannabis plants in a fenced back yard is probably fine, if people can’t see over or through the fence from the street; growing them in planter boxes on your front porch is almost certainly not allowed.
It is important to understand that these cultivation limits apply not only to individuals who are over the age of 21, but also to their households. If three adults over the age of 21 live in the same house and all want to cultivate cannabis, they cannot each grow 4 of their own plants, for a total of 12 in the household; they are limited by the law to cultivating a total of 4 plants in the household. In the same manner, the possession limits outlined above apply to homegrown usable cannabis, and to products such as edibles made at home from homegrown cannabis. So a single household is limited to possessing 8 ounces of usable homegrown cannabis, 16 ounces of solid marijuana products made from homegrown cannabis, and so on.
Measure 91 has done more than merely legalize the home cultivation of cannabis for adults: it has also directed the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) to create and regulate a system of commercial cannabis cultivators, process, and retailers.
The OLCC will have until January 1, 2016 to create the forms, applications, and regulatory structure necessary to implement this initiative. Three days later, on January 4, 2016, the OLCC is required to begin accepting applications for retail cannabis businesses licenses. This means that the soonest retail cannabis business can be expected to be operational is within the first half of 2016.
Under Measure 91, Oregon will tax retail cannabis less stringently than have other states, like Washington. This new law imposes an excise tax on retail cannabis that is to be paid by the producers: there will be a tax of $35 per ounce of flowers sold; $10 per ounce of leaves; and $5 per immature plant sold for home cultivation.
This Measure allows for 4 types of licensed cannabis businesses: producers, who will cultivate retail cannabis; processors, who will buy cannabis from producers and convert it into other marijuana products, like supercritical CO2 wax and shatter; retailers, who will buy marijuana and marijuana products from producers and processors to sell to consumers; and marijuana wholesalers, who will be licensed to purchase cannabis and related products to sell to retailers and other non-consumers. This last type of business would be a new kind of middleman business in the cannabis industry that has never before been implemented in another state. It may prove to be redundant, since dispensaries usually handle their own purchases of these kinds of items directly. However, with a bit of creativity, innovative entrepreneurs may be able to carve out a unique niche for this new type of cannabis business.
Overall, Oregon’s Measure 91 is an amazing step forward in public policy. The end of cannabis prohibition in Oregon represents a great development for business opportunities and improvements in public health and safety. There are also some less well-known aspects of Measure 91 that make it an important piece of law.
One important aspect of this act that has fallen to the wayside in other discussions is that it also requires the creation of regulations and licensing for industrial hemp and hemp seed production in Oregon. Hemp a highly sustainable and useful source of fiber and nutrition, and is a massively underutilized natural resource due to its classification as a Schedule 1 drug by the Federal government. Now Oregon will be one of the only states to fully utilize the industrial, medical, and recreational properties of the amazingly useful cannabis plant.
On an interesting final note, Measure 91 provides an affirmative defense for the growth, possession, and use of peyote. (See section 76(4) of the full text of the law). This aspect of the law takes effect on December 4, 2014. Basically, an affirmative defense is a portion of the law that outlines a set of conditions; if you can prove in court that you meet the conditions of the affirmative defense, then you are not guilty of the crime with which you are charged. One of the most well known affirmative defenses is an act of self defense in cases of what would otherwise be considered assault.
Measure 91 creates an affirmative defense for the cultivation and use of peyote in religious practices, in connection with religious belief, and in a manner that is not harmful to the health of the user or to those around him. Overall, it seems that Oregon has determined prohibitionist policies to be detrimental, and have chosen to take a new path. Congratulations Oregon!
Green Rush Consulting, LLC is a medical marijuana consulting firm that has over 15 years of experience operating in the industry, and provides education, training, and expertise to medical marijuana cultivators and dispensary operators across the nation.
Additionally, Green Rush Consulting has helped entrepreneurial groups win cultivation and dispensary licenses in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington D.C., and recently concluded the application process in Illinois. To learn more about Oregon’s legal and medical cannabis markets, http://www.greenrushconsulting.com.
***Note from Anna: In my opinion this is not true cannabis legalization. 100% legalization means being able to grow, store, and use cannabis and it’s extracts, including concentrates, as one sees fit as long as the user adheres to health warning usage labels. The hemp portion of the bill looks wonderful. Congratulations Oregon!
Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in Washington state. There are more deaths annually from prescription drug abuse than from meth, cocaine, and heroin combined.
What’s causing this epidemic? Drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Methadone are now commonly prescribed for pain. Painkillers offer relief to millions of Americans but present a hidden danger.
These kinds of prescription drugs are called “opiates.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines “opiate” as a sedative narcotic, “[C]ontaining opium or one or more of its natural or synthetic derivatives.” In a way, these drugs are the cousins of a better known—and more feared— drug: heroin. But unlike heroin, most people don’t know how potentially addicting and dangerous prescription opiates can be.
Some recreational users crush prescription painkillers and then ingest them in order to bypass the time-release function of the medications. This provides a somewhat immediate, and sometimes deadly, high.
When overdosed, prescription painkillers can cause a significant decrease in lung function and death. They can also be lethal when they’re combined with other prescribed or over-the-counter drugs. High-profile deaths include actor Heath Ledger, who died from a lethal combination of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.
Teenagers are increasingly experimenting with drugs commonly found in their parents’ medicine cabinets. According to the Healthy Youth Survey, 12 percent of 12th graders used prescription pain medications to get high in the past 30 days. The same survey also shows that an alarming number of younger kids experiment with these drugs. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to properly safeguard and dispose of your medications.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that more than 47 percent of teens get prescription drugs from their friends for free. About 10 percent buy them from their friends, and another 10 percent take them from friends without asking.
The Attorney General’s Office uses funds from consumer protection settlements with drug manufacturers—including the makers of OxyContin— to provide grants to promote drug abuse prevention and prescription drug safety. To date those grants have totaled more than $2.7 million and include:
- $1,000,000 dollars to fund the Washington Prevention Summits and Spring Youth Forums, where kids learn to use the latest technology to create prevention programs in their schools.
- $683,000 to the State Department of Health to create a prescription drug monitoring program to prevent the “doctor shopping” that allows addicts to get access to dangerous drugs.
- $400,000 for the University of Washington to educate doctors on drug marketing. The funding is a portion of the $9 million awarded in grants nationwide from a settlement with Neurontin.
- $30,000 to The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Network to develop the Unwanted Medicine Return Program. This program promotes drug safety and a cleaner enviornment by promoting the safe disposal of unwanted medications.
- $15,000 for Prescriptions for Life, a local nonprofit organization working to eliminate prescription drug abuse. The money will help pay for a new educational video that will be shown to students, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement, medical professionals and civic and business leaders.
- $400,000 for the Washington Health Foundation launch a program to reduce prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among college students, creating one of the first programs in the nation to target young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 (more below).
According to DOH, American Indians and Alaska Natives are hardest-hit by prescription drug abuse.
The AGO has addressed this issue by targeting a series of grants for programs that address substance abuse prevention programs in tribal communities:
- $101,700 for the Boys & Girls Club of America to establish two new clubhouses on Native American lands by 2011, targeting ages 7-18. The two anticipated newly established clubs on reservation lands should see an enrollment per club in excess of 700 youth. Boys & Girls Club substance abuse programs include SMART (Skills, Mastery And Resistance Training) Moves.
- $198,550 to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board to provide four “mini-grants” of $30,000 each to tribal partners for community based projects to fight prescription drug abuse, and to fund a one-day regional training conference on prescription abuse among tribal members.
- $25,250 to Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling to help pay for a 6-day youth camp called New Directions: Tribal Youth Music Academy for Addiction Awareness & Prevention.
The Attorney General’s Office has partnered with the Washington Health Foundation, the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and other national organizations to provide an online health community and a set of resources to help college kids confront the prescription drug epidemic.
The Washington Health Foundation asks college students to be part a part of the solution – to help address prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse and abuse. Learn more on The Washington Health Foundation’s Web site. There, you can tell your story, share your ideas, explore innovative resources, and participate in social media discussions.
1) Each member of the governing body who attends a meeting of such governing body where action is taken in violation of any provision of this chapter applicable to him or her, with knowledge of the fact that the meeting is in violation thereof, shall be subject to personal liability in the form of a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars. The civil penalty shall be assessed by a judge of the superior court and an action to enforce this penalty may be brought by any person. A violation of this chapter does not constitute a crime and assessment of the civil penalty by a judge shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a criminal offense.
(2) Any person who prevails against a public agency in any action in the courts for a violation of this chapter shall be awarded all costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, incurred in connection with such legal action.
Pursuant to RCW 4.84.185, any public agency who prevails in any action in the courts for a violation of this chapter may be awarded reasonable expenses and attorney fees upon final judgment and written findings by the trial judge that the action was frivolous and advanced without reasonable cause.
2012 c 117 § 126; 1985 c 69 § 1; 1973 c 66 § 3; 1971 ex.s. c 250 § 12.]
From the Washington Cannabis Institute ANovember 18, 2013:
The rules governing the implementation of I-502 limit pesticides that may be used to produce recreational marijuana. The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently produced the list of acceptable pesticide products.
Only authorized pesticide products may be used. Using an unauthorized pesticide is a public safety license violation and can result in the cancellation of a producer’s license (see WAC 314-55-520).
WAC 314-55-010(13) defines a pesticide as meaning, but is not limited to: (a) Any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, control, repel, or mitigate any insect, rodent, snail, slug, fungus, weed, and any other form of plant or animal life or virus, except virus on or in a living person or other animal which is normally considered to be a pest; (b) any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; and (c) any spray adjuvant. Pesticides include substances commonly referred to as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.
Licensed producers can use pesticides registered by WSDA under chapter 15.58 RCW that are allowed for use in the production, processing, and handling of marijuana.
If a particular pesticide is not consistent with the allowable pesticide criteria WSDA uses for marijuana production, the applicator could unknowingly be in violation of Washington pesticide laws (RCW 15.58.150(2)(c) and WAC 16-228-1500(1)(b)).
We recommend that pesticides from the OMRI list be cross-checked with the list of over 200 pesticides registered by WSDA that are allowable for use in marijuana production in PICOL.
A preliminary list of over 200 pesticides registered by WSDA under chapter 15.58 RCW that are allowed for use in the production, processing, and handling of marijuana can be found at Washington State University’s (WSU) PICOL (Pesticide Information Center Online) database at:
Under the “crop” drop-down menu choose: “I-502/I-692 (WA Only).”
PICOL lists the regulatory status of pesticides, as determined by WSDA. Updates can be made on a daily basis as pesticides are registered (and cancelled) by WSDA.
Using the PICOL Database
WSU has prepared tutorials as a starting point for prospective marijuana producer applicants in using the PICOL database.
If you have any questions, please contact the WSLCB Marijuana Licensing Unit at email@example.com.
(1) The director may deny, suspend, or revoke any provision of a license, registration, permit or certification issued under chapters 17.21 and 15.58 RCW if it is found that the applicant or the holder of the license, permit, or certification has committed any of the following acts each of which is declared to be a violation
Wednesday, May 14, 2014-Portland, Ore
The Washington State Liquor Control Board today announced the implementation of interim rules detailing facility inspections for I-502 processor applicants who intend to make marijuana-infused food products. The interim rules, known as BIP 03-2014, will be used until permanent rules have been adopted by the board.
The new rules require that food processing facilities pass a facility inspection on an ongoing annual basis. The WSLCB will contract with the Department of Agriculture to conduct the required food processing facility inspections. All of the cost of the inspections are the responsibility of the I-502 licensee and the hourly rate for a Washington State Department of Agriculture inspection is $60. The scope of the inspections includes business records and the inspection can occur without advance notice.
With the passage of I-502, businesses and communities are seeking information about what impacts recreational marijuana (cannabis) growers and processors may have on the environment and what environmental permits might be required in the state of Washington.
General licensing questions are addressed by the state Liquor Control Board.
Permits are site specific
As with all proposed projects, I-502 licensees should start by considering local regulations and ask what approvals may be needed through their county or city permitting offices. Permits and permissions for a project depend on zoning rules, location and operation information.
A pre-approval meeting will help determine whether to complete an environmental checklist (SEPA). This checklist provides an initial snapshot of a project’s environmental impacts. Decision-makers must consider likely environmental consequences.
As projects move forward, proponents may want to coordinate with Ecology, Liquor Control Board (LCB) and the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA).
Possible permits and environmental considerations
This is not a comprehensive list, but designed to prompt consideration as projects evolve.
- A greenhouse growing or processing operation may need an air quality permit for the heating system. The need would be based on the size of the heating unit and amount of fuel used if the system is not electrical.
- Odors may need to be controlled.
- Growers and processors may be able to discharge wastewater to local sewage treatment plants. Growers and product processors can contact their regional Ecology offices or local jurisdictions to be sure they can discharge to local sewers.
- If they cannot, they can seek information from Ecology to determine if they need a water quality permit to protect surface and groundwater.
- Marijuana growers may or may not need a water right permit to water plants.
- Water availability can vary significantly from county to county or water source to water source.
- Industrial greenhouses and outdoor growers may be able to hook up to an existing water purveyor, such as a city utility or irrigation district.
- Growing operations and greenhouses are limited in size by the Liquor Control Board and as a small use may qualify under a permit exemption for a groundwater well.
- There may be local rules or requirements related to a new permit exempt well or new surface water uses, depending on the watershed.
- On May 20, 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a policy statement prohibiting the use of federal water or facilities for the cultivation of marijuana. Questions on the policy should be directed to the bureau.
- Solid waste management is regulated at the local level by county health departments. Businesses should consult with their local health department to determine the amount of solid waste oversight needed.
- Marijuana licensing rules require that marijuana stems and organic waste from growing and processing operations be rendered unusable by mixing them with 50 percent other materials and grinding them up before disposal or composting.
- Growers and processors should employ common recycling and e-cycling practices.
- Growers should consider pesticide management and consult with the Washington Department of Agriculture on pesticide and fertilizer use.
- If any dangerous wastes are generated, dangerous waste regulations need to be followed. Some dangerous wastes to consider:
- Any waste with 10 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or greater would designate as a dangerous waste.
- Fluorescent bulbs or other bulbs with mercury.
- Unused pesticides/herbicides/etc. that are to be disposed.
- Possible waste containing solvents.http://www.ecy.wa.gov/topics/marijuana.html
(NaturalNews) Instead of opting for chemotherapy and radiation in an attempt to shrink an inoperable brain tumor, the father of an eight-month-old baby pushed for alternative treatment with cannabis oil.
The baby’s physician, Dr. William Courtney, was initially skeptical early in his career about cannabis as medicine but has since seen such impressive results that he’s now a staunch advocate for its use.
“They were putting cannabinoid oil on the baby’s pacifier twice a day, increasing the dose… And within two months there was a dramatic reduction, enough that the pediatric oncologist allowed them to go ahead with not pursuing traditional therapy,” said Dr. Courtney in an interview with The Huffington Post.
At four months, the tumor was completely gone. And after eight months of treatment, the brain tissue was considered completely normal.
Dr. Courtney notes that the successful application of cannabis to heal means that “this child, because of that, is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation… currently the child’s being called a miracle baby, and I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is frontline therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects.”
A healing phenomenon
Cannabis has a wide range of reported therapeutic uses — from cancer to asthma, as well as from neurodegenerative diseases to autoimmune disorders. Several U.S. states have recognized the beneficial healing aspects of cannabis and have therefore made it available for medicinal purposes. On the other hand, two states, Washington and Colorado, have taken this a step further and legalized cannabis for recreational use.
Numerous studies support the incredible healing capacity of cannabis, especially regarding cancer. The National Cancer Institute alone has documented 25 studies on the exceptional power that cannabis possesses to halt the progression of cancer. In animal tests, two forms of liver cancer — hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma — decreased when cannabis was given. Benign tumors in other organs, such as the pancreas, testes, uterus and mammary and pituitary glands, were diminished as well. Several reviews also found that cannabinoids appear to encourage cancer cell death (apoptosis), while preserving normal cells. Moreover, cannabis induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines and offers protection against both colorectal and lung cancer.
The list of benefits could seemingly go on forever. To learn more about the wonder of cannabis, have a look at this comprehensive documentary by leading researchers and physicians in the field.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website http://www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.
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***Note from Anna: What else does the government need to know about medical marijuana for them to consider it valuable enough to take of the DEA schedule?
September 24, 2014 Medical Jane:
With the upcoming release of Medical Jane’s website redesign, we will be launching a new section featuring success stories from real MMJ patients. If you would like to share your experience with medical cannabis, here is your chance. In doing so, you will be doing your part to help motivate others to see the power of cannabis as a medicine.
***Note from Anna: When citizens don’t speak up for their friends and families, global medical marijuana legalization is critically delayed. Don’t watch people suffer and die needlessly, legalize all forms of marijuana. I can write patient stories anonymously for submission to Medical Jane for the sake of patient discretion. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for me to get back in touch with you. Thank you~