Suzanne Roig
The Bulletin

Small-scale medical marijuana growers must report their inventory to the Oregon Health Authority’s tracking system by Wednesday.

In Central Oregon, 19 of the 124 growers, or 15%, tending plants for two or fewer patients have registered. The lion’s share statewide have yet to register with the health authority.

Growers, who are licensed by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, need to go online and record usable marijuana for the month of February in the health tracking system. If they don’t comply by June, they could face fines.

Statewide, there are 1,618 of these small medical growers who haven’t registered online out of a total of 1,903, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The rule applies only to the growers tending to a maximum of six plants for fewer than two patients.

Growers working on behalf of more than two patients must register their inventory and product transfers in the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s tracking system.

Growers must record products coming and going from their facilities and on-site inventory, which includes the number of mature and immature plants, amount of usable marijuana, leaves and flower being dried, trimmed leaves and seeds.

Those growers who do not meet the deadline will receive a warning notice. If they don’t comply by June 10, they face a $200 fine, said Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division communications officer.

The goal is to keep track of the marijuana grown in Oregon to keep it off the black market, Modie said.

“Enforcement has been a challenge,” Modie said. “Compliance is extremely low. We don’t know why people haven’t been logging into the system and posting their inventory.”

In the state, there are 13,290 medical growers of all sizes registered, he said.

Growers also can have their registrations revoked if they can’t comply, he said.

The communication from the health authority is a bit confusing, said Jeremy Kwit, who started in the cannabis business as a medical grower and now has three recreational retail outlets in Bend.

“Before there wasn’t any requirement for reporting for fewer than two patients,” Kwit said. “Now, it seems it’s everyone who must report.”

The rule has been in place requiring all growers to report to the health authority since 2016, but it wasn’t enforced until after officials determined in a self-audit that there is an opportunity for diversion to the black market because of limited oversight, Modie said.

“There have been some challenges that OMMP (Oregon Medical Marijuana Program) has had,” Modie said. “What’s happening now is our effort to resolve some of those issues.

“We don’t want medical marijuana to be a source for the black market. We want to eliminate that risk.”

— Reporter: 541-633-2117, sroig@bendbulletin.com

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