On Thursday, the OLCC passed a temporary rule which radically changed, without warning, the amount of flower that an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patient may purchase.
Previously, an OMMP patient or caregiver could purchase up to 24 ounces per day from a dispensary. Beginning today, Friday, August 24, that amount is reduced to one ounce.
Per the OLCC, this action is being taken "because of suspicious purchase activity detected in the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS)."
"Today’s action on OMMP purchase limits is designed to prevent potential diversion of usable marijuana into the secondary illegal market. The OLCC will continue to investigate the suspicious activity and will work with the Oregon Health Authority, which has authority over the OMMP, and if necessary forward investigative findings to law enforcement.Much like Trump stroking out before Christmas, odds are high this is related to the recently released Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (OR-ID HIDTA) report claiming that an unacceptable amount of Oregon cannabis is being illegally diverted across state lines to the unregulated marketplace. That report led Oregon US Attorney Billy Williams to announce that Oregon's cannabis is "out of control," and direct state regulatory agencies to get a handle on the problem.
"The temporary rule takes effect on Friday, August 24, 2018, requiring OLCC licensed marijuana retailers to comply with the new purchase limits immediately. The temporary rule expires in six months and could be modified or rescinded after the investigations are completed.
“The Cannabis Tracking System worked as it should enabling us to uncover this suspicious activity,” said Steven Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “When we detect possible illegal activity, we need to take immediate steps to deter it from happening further, and that’s why the Commission moved quickly.”
Details about the suspicious purchases were not released, but it may a be variation on "looping," a practice that recently took down Colorado dispensary chain Sweet Leaf. It involves consumers making multiple purchases in a single day, and in Sweet Leaf's case, some consumers made more than 40 one-ounce purchases from a single dispensary in a day.