Pubdate: Wed, 04 May 2016
Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)
Copyright: 2016 The Mail Tribune
Note: Only prints LTEs from within it's circulation area, 200 word count limit
Author: Vickie Aldous


Jackson County Company Among First Eight Licensees

A Jackson County company is among the first eight businesses 
statewide to receive a coveted recreational marijuana growing license 
from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The OLCC this week announced the first recipients, which include 
Southern Oregon Cannabis Co. LLC., located off East Evans Creek Road 
north of Rogue River.

"It is very exciting for sure," said owner Devin Ellis.

He said about a dozen family members and friends are working for the 
company. After receiving the license, they planted marijuana seeds, 
which are beginning to sprout.

Southern Oregon Cannabis is allowed to grow recreational marijuana 
outdoors, with plants covering 20,001 to 40,000 square feet, 
according to the OLCC.

In its first year, the company probably will have about 10,000 square 
feet of plants, said Ellis, who previously worked in real estate 
before venturing into the marijuana industry.

"Next year we should be able to fill out the maximum area," he said.

Charles Brooks, doing business as Loved Buds and based in Josephine 
County, was the other Southern Oregon grower to secure one of the 
first licenses under Oregon's legalized recreational marijuana 
system. Loved Buds can grow marijuana outdoors with plants covering 
up to 20,000 square feet under the state's tiered system.

Oregon voters approved a measure to legalize recreational marijuana 
in 2014, leading to a scramble among state and local governments to 
develop regulations for the burgeoning industry.

Other companies to get licenses are in Lane, Tillamook, Washington 
and Clackamas counties.

"These licensees reflect the pioneering spirit Oregon is known for," 
OLCC Chairman Rob Patridge said in a prepared statement. "They come 
from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and possess the 
entrepreneurial spirit of this industry."

The OLCC expects to issue about 850 recreational producer licenses 
this year - but expects to receive up to 2,000 applications.

As of Tuesday, the OLCC had received 107 recreational producer 
license applications from Jackson County and 73 applications from 
Josephine County.

More applications have come from Jackson County than any other county 
in the state.

Clackamas County, which stretches from the southeast Portland metro 
area to Mount Hood, ranks second, with 89 recreational producer 
applications, according to OLCC data.

Faced with a deluge of recreational producer license applications, 
the OLCC said it is focusing most of its efforts for now on outdoor growers.

The licensees can start operating legally after paying their annual 
license fee. The annual fee for a smaller tier-one grower is $3,750, 
and the annual fee for larger, tier-two growers is $5,750, the OLCC said.

"All applicants go through rigorous scrutiny before they're even 
considered for a license," Patridge said in a statement. "They 
undergo criminal background checks, must receive land-use approval 
from local governments, and be trained to use the Cannabis Tracking 
System, which is the key public safety component for the regulated 
recreational marijuana system."

OLCC investigators reviewed the applications and inspected the 
locations to ensure the applicants met all state laws and regulations 
before their applications were presented to the commission for 
approval, the OLCC said.

The OLCC did not disclose the locations of the growers, other than to 
name the counties in which they plan to grow recreational marijuana.

Information about grow sites is kept confidential for security 
reasons, said OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger.

With the recreational system still under development, it became legal 
to sell medical marijuana to adult recreational users via medical 
marijuana dispensaries in October 2015. Medical marijuana has long 
been legal in Oregon.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom