Oregon trade group backs bill that would limit hemp, marijuana licenses

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A cannabis group in Oregon said it supports a limit on hemp licensing included in a bill introduced in the state legislature last week. The bill, HB 4016, would re-establish a moratorium on new licenses by re-authorizing the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) to halt all cannabis licensing for a period of time, based on supply and demand. OLCC would decide when the moratorium would be lifted.

HB 4016 would resume a halt on licenses that took effect in 2019 and ended last week.

The measure, which some cannabis stakeholders have criticized as anti-competitive, is one of three laws now before Oregon lawmakers that include a number of changes intended to address illegal marijuana farms in the state, many of which police say masquerade as licensed hemp operators.

“This isn’t about the threat of large operators eating up too much market share,” interim executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association Meghan Walstatter told the Mugglehead website. “It helps protect Oregonians and the craft cannabis market while allowing bigger operators to continue to thrive.”

“There will still be mergers and acquisitions,” Walstatter suggested.

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