Operation Good Harvest—AKA “I Like To Watch”—has concluded, a first-time undertaking which sent OLCC inspectors onto the outdoor farms of recreational cannabis producers across the state to inspect, verify, and validate that growers were in full compliance. How did it go?
Mmm… not so great.
Marijuana Business daily summed it all up nicely, reporting that the OLCC sent out their bevy of stem-troopers between September and November to investigate 354 growers, or 56 percent of Oregon’s 628 outdoor and mixed-use recreational cannabis producers.
Much like my mother reviewing my scholastic reports, the OLCC was both mad and very, very disappointed, knowing that the growers could have done better, and promising some serious penalties if things don’t turn around pretty darn quickly.
The OLCC took it upon themselves to start the operation after determining that harvest time was a prime “opportunity for diversion.”
Of those 354 growers, MJBizdaily reports: “95 licensees—27 percent—were found to have discrepancies or shortcomings in their harvest activities, and 41 face possible revocation of their cultivation licenses.” Ruh roh.
The growers who were cited often had multiple compliance issues, which MJBizDaily lists as:
• Problems with cameras and surveillance coverage.
• Data in the state’s cannabis tracking system – Metrc – not matching the plants or product discovered on the licensed premises.
• Marijuana plants not tagged and entered into Metrc.
• Failure to provide the OLCC with harvest notification information, including unrecorded harvests.
• Making unapproved alterations to licensed premises.
• Security and alarm issues.
By region, OLCC found that Bend’s 11 inspections revealed that a mere 55 percent of growers were in regulatory compliance.
Medford (which has the highest number of outdoor operations in the state) had 74 percent compliance, which was the state average; and Salem had the highest rate of compliance at 83 percent, with just one license holder at risk of revocation.
Overproduction remains aerious issue in Oregon, which has led the price of wholesale cannabis dropping up to 50 percent.
Revoking 41 production licenses would both send a strong message to other producers, and also serve to reduce the overall production levels, albeit probably not by enough to substantially impact wholesale prices.
In June, the state temporarily stopped taking new recreational grower license applications as a way to address overproduction and diversion.
As of now, the OLCC has not publicly announced what the planned penalties are for those 41 producers in violation.