The OLCC [Oregon Liquor Control Commission] is in charge of not only recreational, but medical cannabis laws and regulations in Oregon and they continue to bungle them. They make excuses such as “We’re making history, be patient.” And, “This has never been done before.” However, that isn’t true, is it? Medical and recreational cannabis laws are not a new invention since there were states who’ve done it long before ours. Colorado and Washington both seem to have been successful in their law-making and yet the OLCC refuses to take any pointers or ideas from states where it’s actually working. However, the OLCC seems to be in some state of delusion where they believe that they can somehow do it better.
Let us begin with the domino that started this all: Our cannabis surplus. In Oregon, we have over three times as much cannabis in our reserves than we can even begin to consume in a year. That amount only increases with every harvest season, which worsens the problem. The OLCC failed to quit issuing grower licenses until June , and because of this, there is too much cannabis in the market. Oregon smokes and ingests roughly 350,000 pounds of dried and processed cannabis in a year. We have just shy of a million pounds just sitting there because we are unable to export it legally. So? Growers have turned to illegally exporting it because they can’t make a profit on cannabis that doesn’t sell and with the price of cannabis in our state plummeting it’s only good for the consumers. Or, so you’d think.
With how much of a profit they are losing growers are getting away with selling it on the Black Market in states where it’s either illegal, or they have cannabis shortages such as Nevada and California and seeing as they are our border states it’s very easy to get away with. People like to argue that this is what is going to weed out the people who “don’t have what it takes.” However, that is a capitalist notion. The people who don’t have what it takes are the people whom we should be backing. Growers from Oregon are being kicked out of the game by big companies coming in from other states thanks to the OLCC allowing out-of-state investors and companies to lay down their roots in a state where they don’t belong.
Medical Patients are Caught in the Crosshairs
Now, you might be wondering why this is so important. It’ll sort itself out eventually, right? Perhaps, but until then the people who are suffering from this are the people who need it the most: medical patients. The OLCC has decided to slander patients to write new, asinine laws for medical cannabis control. Just last month they changed the amount in which cannabis patients can buy. It went from a pound of dried cannabis flower per day to one ounce. Yeah, you read that right. ONE. OUNCE. They claim that it’s because people are acquiring their medical cards under false pretenses and are buying pounds at a time to resell it on the black market, and they claim they have evidence. Which if you have a brain, makes absolutely no sense. They’re spouting scenarios that don’t exist instead of owning up to their mistakes while simultaneously punishing those who need it most.
The projected amount of cannabis patients who buy that much on a regular basis is 2%. The majority of which are in rural areas where they’re forced to travel to obtain their cannabis. So, imagine this: You’re a medical patient, which means you are in some form disabled. Now add living in an area where the closest dispensary is possibly over an hour’s drive. It makes sense to allow those people to buy a pound at a time because it is harder for them to obtain their medicine. Let us not forget that that is what it is. Medicine.
The OLCC has decided to cover their own asses by smearing the integrity of our medical patients. The people who paved the way for recreational cannabis. But of course, they forget about us in the name of profit. Why would anyone be surprised by this? Their inaction and negligence has gotten our cannabis market to this point, and they refuse to take responsibility and instead are taking away the rights of our cannabis patients.
Next Up on Snottie’s Stoner Stories
I’ll continue this topic as a new segment which I will be reporting on all OLCC policy changes that affect medical patients as well as write about the dying medical industry in Oregon.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.