Legislative Updates, Intellectual Property Concerns & Dispensary Buffer Discussed at
Emerald Trade Alliance
Meeting Recap: 03/16/17
Written by Christina Ketchum
Our March members meeting was full of pertinent information and lively dialogue.
We heard from Charles Weller about what’s moving and shaking on the legislative front. The OLCC released a compliance education bulletin (CE2017-01) stating that if a licensee decides to sell its business the license does not come with it. The potential purchaser will have to apply to receive a license to operate said business. This bulletin also reminded licensees they are required to reconcile all on-premise and in-transit inventory at the end of each day.
The Eugene/Springfield Fire Marshal’s Office put out a Memorandum on February 16th revising OAR 825-025-3260 and the minimum acceptable information needed by the fire code official to obtain approval of the extraction process and facility.
The OHA is proposing to permanently adopt and amend rules in chapter 333, division 7 & 64 related to marijuana labeling, and marijuana laboratory sampling and testing. They are also looking at permanently adopting, amending and repealing rules in chapter 333, division 8 pertaining to medical growers, processors dispensaries and patient cards. These rules will also allow for THC and CBD labeling to be expressed as a range or as an average of the values calculated.
You may file written comments before 5pm on 4/30/17 by submitting them to the Public Health Division Rules Coordinator at the following address:
OHA, Public Health Division
Attn: Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, Oregon 97232
Or you may email comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you may fax comments to: (971) 673 – 1299
We heard from Heidi and Sylvan of Moss Crossing about the 1000 ft rule effecting Eugene dispensaries. The former OHA 1000 ft rule buffer rule between all new and existing did not automatically carry over with OLCC. The state has left it up to Oregon cities to implement. Heidi and Sylvan had been at the city council meeting just a few hours prior to the members meeting, and reported back some disappointing news. It seems the Eugene city council has a general lack of understanding of standard operating procedures those in the cannabis community are dealing with. We believe this is preventing them from understanding the larger issue at play with the 1000 ft rule.
For instance, the city council did not know prior to this meeting and then did not understand why our industry is cash only. A major concern with having several dispensaries right next to each other is the potential for high crime. Downtown Eugene is a great example. With so many dispensaries within a block of one another, there is a higher potential for crime due to large amounts of cash and high ticket cannabis items. The city council is also unaware that Oregon is the ONLY state that allows for outside cannabis business to come in and set up shop, making Oregon highly susceptible to larger out of state corporate money from big players like Bayer, Monsanto or even Budweiser. Oregonians are protective over their craft products, and craft cannabis is no different.
Finally, we had Jeff Farr and Jon Russell talk copyright, trademark and patenting. Jeff is an Attorney specializing in copyright with a partner specializing in trademark. Jon Russell is a writer for GreenSea Distribution and recently wrote this article, Intellectual Property Concerns in the Cannabis Community from which he spoke about his research. We heard of some cannabis companies who have already fallen under a trademark fire. There’s a big misconception that if you change 10-15% of a pre-existing logo or brand, you can trademark it as your own. We heard some steps you can take to protect your branding and image. Currently the Federal Government is not approving cannabis related patents and trademarks.
We concluded with a lively discussion surrounding some big issues the cannabis community should anticipate; patenting seeds and processing procedures, trademark fights as legality and reciprocity opens up state to state.
All in all this was a very informative meeting with members understanding some issues our industry is facing now, and some to anticipate as our legal landscape continues to evolve.
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