After reading the op-ed by Amy Margolis (“Opportunities lost amid OLCC’s cannabis license backlog,” Sept. 2) and as someone who was also there, I thought it would be good to remind readers that it was her organization, The Oregon Cannabis Association PAC, that bullied the Legislature into opening the state to outside interests – which has led to the very situation she decries. Ms. Margolis' organization led the effort to remove the original two-year residency requirement, leading to this massive backlog. At that time, the Legislature was not open to putting limits on the number of licenses or making previous participation in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program a condition of licensure. This last option alone would have guaranteed that existing canna-businesses and small family grows had an opportunity to participate that the Legislature so often spoke of wanting.
That being said, I do not disagree with several of Ms. Margolis' points. She is right that the backlog has left many small Oregon startups behind or languishing. Asking the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to turn all its efforts toward resolving the crises is a good step, and I would add that this should include redirecting enforcement activities more toward inspection duties. Perhaps the solution lies in the state allowing the OLCC to issue temporary “certificates of occupancy” to applicants that are simply waiting for a final walk-through.
Anthony Taylor, McMinnville
Taylor is legislative director of Compassionate Oregon, which supports medical marijuana.