olcc meetingMedford, Ore. —   It was standing room only at the Inn at the Commons in Medford Tuesday as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission held a workshop on the new temporary rules for the recreational marijuana industry. Currently, medical and recreational marijuana are sold under the same roof, but come January 4th, that will all change.

“They’re only going to be able to sell until the end of next year, after that everything will transition to the recreational marijuana program in Oregon,” OLCC Chair Rob Patridge says.

As of July 1st, recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Oregon. Since then, it’s been untaxed, and largely unregulated, but beginning in January the OLCC will take over; overseeing the business from seed to sale and implementing an application and inspection process, along with fees and taxation.

“We know we’re going to have a flood of applications,” Patridge says, “we’re trying to staff up and train to get ready to go.”

That’s why the commission is holding a series of free workshops, covering everything from the do’s and don’ts of packaging, to zoning restrictions, and the turnout has been overwhelming. For folks working in the industry like Riot Schecter, it’s an exciting time.

“This is how I plan to build my business and put my child through college,” Schecter says.

But he adds there are a lot of hoops to jump through.

“Being just a seed distributor, I don’t plan on selling cannabis or producing anything. I’m basically just a wholesaler and it’s a little cost prohibitive they want over $5,000 just for me to be a distributor.”

The rules that will roll out after the new year are temporary and will be in place until permanent rules are enacted. Those rules will come on or before June 28, 2016. Four more sessions will be held around the state, including an online version on December 21st. For more information on the upcoming workshops and to download a copy of the business readiness guide click HERE.

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University. She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. When Kristin is not sharing the news she’s hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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