August 31, 2018 12:19 PM
Before Matthew Miller harvests marijuana this fall from his fields in southern Oregon, he’ll have to notify the state for the first time ever — a process that could bring inspectors to make sure none of his pot is being illegally diverted.
The new harvest notification policy, which takes effect Saturday, is the first of its kind among states that have legalized marijuana and is intended to ensure legally grown Oregon weed isn’t being transported out of state.
It’s part of a raft of new measures to appease federal officials who have publicly railed against what they call Oregon’s “relaxed” regulatory environment and inadequate oversight of an ambitious legal pot industry.
Oregon has an excellent pot-growing climate, and its rules allow applicants to have multiple licenses, permit out-of-state investment, and don’t cap grower licenses — generous policies that have resulted in an oversupply of legal weed, with growers desperate to unload crops now worth half of what they were.
In this environment, the harvest notification rule has riled many cannabis cultivators who say it amounts to more bureaucracy in an industry already struggling to stay afloat.