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Recap of ODA's Latest Updates from RAC Meeting: Draft Rules Set for Public Comment in Early April

Updated: Mar 27



On Tuesday, March 19, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) held a  Rule Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting highlighting draft rules slated for public comment in early April 2024. The RAC was comprised of Oregon industry leaders, including our founding principal Courtney N. Moran, LL.M.


Vendor License Proposal

The biggest update proposed for the program is the creation of a Vendor License, for those storing, transferring, or selling hemp or hemp items. The Vendor License would NOT apply to those who only transport hemp or hemp items. 


The concept for this new license was discussed at previous RACs in 2023. The overall goal is to continue the implementation of HB 3000 (2021) and create better oversight over the retail sales of hemp products in the general market in Oregon. ODA is proposing a $200 fee for the vendor license, to renew annually on July 1 - the same renewal time for ODA food safety type licenses. 

If implemented as proposed, starting July 1, 2024, vendors will be required to obtain a license from ODA for each vendor site before storing, transferring, or selling hemp or hemp items. However, exceptions to the vendor license site requirements would apply when the individual only sells or transfers to non-consumers without storing the products in Oregon at any time before the sale or transfer. An additional proposed exception is if the vendor is already a licensed grower, handler, or agricultural hemp seed producer who has notified ODA of the location where the hemp or hemp items are stored, transferred, or sold.


The discussed proposed rules also add recordkeeping and reporting and requirements for Vendors. 

Draft language reviewed by the RAC includes, 


OAR 603-048-0010  Definitions

(54) “Vendor” means 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. Vendor does not include a person who only transports industrial hemp or hemp items.


OAR 603-048-0175  Vendor Site License 

(1) Effective July 1, 2024, a vendor must have a license with the Department under these rules for each vendor site prior to storing, transferring, or selling industrial hemp or hemp items except: 

(a) A license is not required if the person only sells or transfers to a non-consumer and does not store the industrial hemp or hemp items in Oregon at any time prior to the sale or transfer. 

(b) A licensed grower, handler, or agricultural hemp seed producer is not required to be licensed with the Department as a vendor to store, transfer, or sell industrial hemp or hemp items the licensee produced or processed if the licensee has notified the Department of the location where the industrial hemp or hemp items are stored, transferred, or sold in the license application or on another form provided by the Department. 

(c) A license is not required for a vendor site licensed by OLCC under ORS 475C.065, 475C.085, 475C.093, or 475C.097. 

(2) A vendor site license is effective the day the Department issues the license and expires annually on June 30. Fees are not prorated.

(3) A vendor site license applies only to the vendor site identified on the license. A vendor must obtain a separate license for each vendor site.

(4) Each unlicensed vendor site identified by the Department is a separate violation of section (1) of this rule.


603-048-0315 Vendor Site Application and Review

(see full version of draft rules below)


603-048-0700 Fees

(1) Licensing Fees. At the time of application an applicant must pay the following fees: 

(h) A fee of $200.00 for each vendor application.



 Proposed Updates to Grower License Requirements

Two main updates are proposed for ODA hemp growers: licensing timelines and failed pre-harvest test options. 


Regarding the grower license application deadline, due to numerous issues grows faced this past production season with the May 31 grower license application deadline, ODA is proposing to allow applicants a “late” application submission by July 31, for a late fee of $250. 


Regarding failed pre-harvest testing and retesting, ODA is proposing to update the rules to allow grower licenses who have a failed pre-harvest test that comes back at not more than 1.0% total THC to have the lot resampled and retested, without having to subdivide the harvest lot as is currently required. This proposal creates flexibility and additional options for farmers in how to handle lots that fail initial pre-harvest testing. Note, that the proposal maintains the requirement to subdivide the harvest lot into separate lots for resampling and retesting for those that fail pre-harvest tests at more than 1.0% total THC. 


Draft language reviewed by the RAC includes, 


OAR 603-048-0200 Grower Licensure Applications and Review

(1) (c) An applicant is not subject to the May 31 deadline if the applicant has purchased land with an active grower license. No new production areas or grow sites other than those included in the original license may be added or moved after May 31 unless submitted or July 31 with the late fee identified in OAR 603-048-0700 for each new grow site before July 31.  

  

OAR 603-048-0630  Failed Pre-Harvest Testing; Retesting

(3) Resampling Production Area. If a sample tested under OAR 603-048-0600 fails an initial test, a grower may seek resampling and retesting of the production area if:

(c) The grower subdivides the production area into separate harvest lots for resampling and retesting if the initial test reported that the production area exceeds 1.0 percent total THC on a dry weight basis.  


603-048-0700 Fees

(1) Licensing Fees. At the time of application an applicant must pay the following fees:

(g) A late fee of $250.00 for each grow site application received after May 31 but no later than July 31.



A full copy of the proposed draft rules discussed by the RAC is available here. 

Draft Hemp Rules-March_to_RAC
.pdf
Download PDF • 269KB


EARTH Law, LLC remains committed to keeping our clients and the community informed about the latest developments in the hemp legal landscape. We are available to provide expert guidance and strategic representation in navigating the complexities of hemp regulations for success in the industry. For any additional questions or information regarding the RAC meeting or upcoming rulemaking, please schedule a consultation at info@earthlawllc.com or 541-632-3946.


As the public comment period opens up next month, we will provide additional updates. We highly encourage you to stay informed about these upcoming rule changes and to participate in the public comment process to contribute to shaping regulations that impact the industry and your business.




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