Oregon regulators and health authorities are rolling out a new tracking system that will allow the government to keep closer tabs on the state’s medical cannabis producers. The new system means that come July 1st, Oregon’s medical marijuana growers will have to adapt to some new regulations. The changes, however, won’t be very dramatic and could help ensure unsafe products are recalled before hitting store shelves.
Oregon Will Assign Numbers and Barcodes To Individual Seeds
A major component of the rules that will go into effect July 1st are registration requirements for medical grows. Come July, all medical growers will need to register with both the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, KTVZ reports.
Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the new regulations for Oregon medical marijuana growers is the seed tracking system they will put in place.
Registration with these agencies will mean that each seed a medical cannabis grower plants will receive its own number and barcode. Once the serial numbers are scanned into the tracking system, Oregon authorities will be able to track each plant from germination to sale.
For many, the idea of assigning barcodes to individual seeds feels like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. But in reality, the system is quite similar to those already in place to track produce for grocery stores.
“This system works in the same way, so we can essentially trace and track any kind of package that is in the system the same way,” said OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger.
Furthermore, a similar system is already in place for Oregon’s recreational cannabis growers. But recreational producers deal exclusively with the OLCC, while the medical growers primarily work with the OHA. The new tracking system gives OHA the same kind of oversight capabilities as OLCC does with recreational grows.
Ostensibly, the tracking system will allow the Oregon Health Authority to better monitor product quality. It will also facilitate any recalls should the OHA need call back products.
But Pettinger also said the system could help authorities distinguish legal from illegal grow operations. And that possibility has interested Oregon law enforcement officials.
Tracking System Could Help Law Enforcement Crack Down On Illegal Marijuana Grows
Tracking both recreational and medical cannabis grows should help to isolate illegal grows. In turn, this should make it easier for law enforcement to focus on detecting and shutting down illegal operations.
“The expectation is we will be able to detect illegal activity,” Pettinger said. “That will enable law enforcement to focus on those, keeping cannabis that is produced illegally out of the market.”
But law enforcement wants more. Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson requested the OHA hand over a list the county’s registered grow sites.
However, OHA section manager Carol Yann was reluctant to provide the sheriff’s office with the list. Since the OHA primarily focuses on patients, they try to keep such information confidential.
The Regulations For Oregon Medical Marijuana Growers Come July 1st
Oregon’s attorney general has yet to issue an official position on giving OHA registration data to police. But either way, all of Oregon’s legal cannabis grows will have to register with the OHA and OLCC by July 1st. Once registered, inspectors will make regular visits to medical grow sites to ensure compliance with OHA standards.