After a 42-month “pause” on issuing new licenses, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission began processing new license applications in November 2021 with a revamped application and renewal process designed for greater efficiency.
The OLCC stopped accepting new recreational cannabis licenses in June 2018, in part because it was receiving more applications than the agency could effectively process. That temporary stop became more permanent when the Legislature mandated a hold on new producer licenses until 2022.
During the hiatus, the OLCC improved its application handling procedures, cutting the time to process applications from nine months in 2020 to four and a half months in the third quarter of 2021.
According to Andy Jurik, OLCC director of statewide licensing, the agency was able to speed up its processing times by removing the duplicative review necessary for staff to make decisions, postponing applicants who are not ready to move forward on their application and assigning license-related inspections to dedicated inspectors in lieu of sharing the responsibilities with all compliance staff.
Jurik said the agency is going to start processing applications in the order they were received, however, he said less than 50% of the 232 applicants that submitted applications after the 2018 hiatus were ready to move forward with their applications. About a dozen of those 232 applicants have withdrawn their applications.
“The post-pause applications that want to proceed are going to be merged into the queue,” Jurik said in a press release. “They’re not going to go to the bottom, they’re not going to go to the top, they’re going to be merged in.”