Oregon’s cannabis industry is booming. Since our state legalized recreational cannabis in 2014, the retail marijuana industry has grown exponentially. After observing what has happened here, other states have begun to follow our lead.
Attorney Michael R. Hughes has helped many cannabis entrepreneurs enter the retail sales market in Oregon. As a hemp farmer himself, Hughes knows what it takes to be successful in the cannabis industry. He puts his legal knowledge and personal experience in the industry to work for his clients.
Would-be marijuana retailers count on him to guide them through the long process of establishing a successful business. Established license holders know he has their back if their livelihood is threatened by license revocation, criminal charges, or a shifting political climate.
Laying The Groundwork
Getting some seeds and throwing them on the ground is not going to work out well. It takes the right mix of soil, sun, water, plus careful cultivation to produce a bumper crop. The same principles apply when you are starting a retail marijuana business.
Getting a license and running a successful recreational marijuana business requires significant resources, careful planning, and plenty of hard work. Attorney Hughes helps his clients create and implement a plan that gets them from where they are in the license and business creation process to where they want to be.
Because he is an experienced cannabis attorney, he can do much more than a traditional business consultant. Hughes can assist with:
- Business formation – selecting a business type and registering with the local, state, and federal government
- Creating basic business governance documents like partnership agreements
- Drafting a business plan
- Finding locations that are good from a business perspective and also comply with local land use, zoning, and building codes so a Land Use Compatibility Statement can be submitted to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)
- And much more
These are critical first steps that lay the foundation for a successful permit application, and a thriving business.
Cannabis Permits and Regulations in Oregon
The cannabis industry is highly regulated. While most business owners simply inform the government of their plans and get right to work, marijuana retailers must get the government’s okay to open their doors.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is the government agency that regulates cannabis businesses. It gives out six types of cannabis business licenses:
- Producer — Ability to plant, cultivate, grow, harvest, and dry marijuana.
- Processor — Ability to process, compound, or convert marijuana or hemp into cannabinoid products, concentrates, and/or extracts.
- Wholesale — Can purchase quantities of marijuana from other licensed facilities and sell the products to licensed retailers, processors, producers, other wholesalers, or research certificate holders. Can purchase hemp from licensed processors and sell hemp items to licensed retailers, processors, and other wholesalers.
- Laboratory — Accredited by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) and responsible for testing marijuana items for pesticides, solvents or residual solvents, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol concentration, and for microbiological or other contaminants.
- Research Certificate — Ability to research marijuana for the purpose of benefiting the state’s cannabis industry, medical research, or public health and safety.
- Retail — Can sell or deliver marijuana or hemp items directly to consumers.
While Attorney Michael R. Hughes assists clients with all of these license types, the retail license application process requires special attention. It is important that your application has all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed perfectly so the OLCC does not come back asking for additional information or deny the application outright. Working with Attorney Hughes can help ensure your application is in order.
The OLCC also regulates who can work in retail marijuana shops. All employees of any licensed cannabis businesses must have a marijuana worker permit from the OLCC. Permit holders must be over 21 years of age, pass a test, and pay a fee.
Finally, recreational retail cannabis businesses must comply with a variety of OLCC regulations and local laws that dictate very specific things about their retail businesses. There are OLCC rules covering everything from proper packaging and labeling, to what hours the store can be open, to who a business is allowed to sell to. There are many important security requirements and regulations that must be followed. There may also be some local laws and regulations that impact retail stores.
Working with an experienced cannabis attorney like Attorney Hughes means you do not have to figure out what laws apply to you and how to comply with them on your own. Hughes can help you understand the statutes and regulations so you focus on running your business in a compliant manner.
Defending Against Revocation
Complying with all the regulations governing retail recreational marijuana businesses in Oregon is just as important after a license to operate has been issued as it is during the application phase. Failure to follow the law could cause the OLCC to suspend or cancel a recreational marijuana retail license.
Because compliance is so critical, and cannabis law is constantly changing, Attorney Michael R. Hughes advises many of his clients on an ongoing basis. If the law changes or a legal issue arises, he is there to address it. When issues do arise with your OLCC license, you want to have an expert on your side. Whether handling the actual administrative law hearing or serving as a fact expert or consultant with your legal team, Mr. Hughes is the person to call when these issues arise.
An Attorney Who Understands Your Side
As the cannabis industry has grown and changed, Attorney Michael R. Hughes has helped lead the way forward. Both his law practice and his hemp farm have adapted as policy changes have altered the legal landscape. Hughes’ focus on the future has allowed him to stay a step or two ahead, and his clients have benefited from his foresight and preparation as much as his hard work.
There is no other attorney or cannabis business consultant in the country with the experience Attorney Hughes has. Working with him to get or defend your retail license to sell recreational cannabis ensures you have an advisor and advocate who truly understands where you are coming from and what your goals are. Whether you are located here in Oregon, or in another state, please reach out today to schedule an initial consultation.