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Industry Claims Overregulation by ODA at Hearing on Proposed Vendor License

ODA Public Hearing Recap April 24, 2024

This morning ODA held a Public Hearing on Proposed Rules that would make several updates to the Oregon Hemp program license and pre-harvest testing requirements. 

ODA received two heartfelt comments from licensees opposed to the proposal to add a new vendor license requirement, that if approved, will take effect July 1, 2024.

The Vendor license would apply to “a person, including a retailer or wholesaler, that stores, transfers, or sells industrial hemp or hemp items for resale to another person, including to other vendors, wholesalers or consumers.” See proposed OAR 601-048-0010(53).

The proposed fee for a vendor license is $250 annually.

“The industry is undone by the other rules! When is this going to stop?”

The first testifier expressed serious concerns about overregulation. The testifier was disappointed ODA was adding another license with another fee, explaining this would hurt the smallest businesses within the program and state. The testifier pointed out the declining number of program participants to around 150 from 1900. They spoke with several vendors that sell hemp products who indicated they would not pursue getting the vendor license, even if required. And indicated this will lead to folks buying from out of state and then shipping out of state, without any knowledge by regulators. The testifier did suggest that if another license was required to make sales safer in the state a solution could be for ODA to implement a wholesaler license. The testifier rightly pointed out that “[t]his won't hurt people who are already criminals, it is hurting people who are already licensed.”

“Is this state conducive for doing business in this Agricultural Commodity? I think the answer is NO!”

The second testifier shared sentiments of overregulation stating that it’s “extremely prohibitive to do business in a non-intoxicating product”. Furthermore, a vendor license will only “hurt people that are brick and mortar who are trying to support this industry and be a part of this industry”. The testifier further declared that this is not a long-term effective plan that will benefit farmers, handlers, and vendors; indicating safety of the product can be handled at the handler level regardless of where it is sold. The testifier expressed additional concerns about the role of OLCC in the hemp program and the declining number of program licensees and acres. The second testifier closed their testimony by stating that “it’s becoming overarchingly untenable to do business in this state.”

As the first testifier proclaimed “Let’s point to success”.

Both testifiers praised ODA for supporting farmers in all other aspects of their farming ventures and the program. 

Thank you to those who participated in the hearing and provided testimony. 

Engaging in the process is the way to lead change!

Oregon hemp program licensees and stakeholders, this is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to be heard and to have an impact!

If you share these concerns or have your own concerns, PLEASE SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS to ODA by 5pm on May 10, 2024. 

Complete proposed rules are available here.

If you have any questions about these proposed rules, submitting comments, or how these regulations may impact your business operations, please contact us for a consultation today. 

We are here to help your business succeed!


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