The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) administers many programs that affect agriculture producers and processors. These programs could also affect cannabis (marijuana and hemp) production, processing, wholesale, and retail activities.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) are the lead agencies for medical and recreational marijuana, respectively. ODA is the lead agency for hemp. Due to ODA's authorities, ODA is associated with many of the elements related to cannabis.
Oregon Hemp Program
Hemp is an agricultural crop and ODA is responsible for administering the Oregon Hemp Program. All growers and handlers must be registered with the program and follow rules for testing and recordkeeping.
Agricultural water quality: Protecting Oregon's waterways
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is responsible for developing plans to prevent and control water pollution from agricultural activities and soil erosion on rural lands.
Issues related to agriculture that can negatively impact water quality include:
- Sediment from eroding croplands, pasture lands, and stream banks
- Erosion and runoff from farm roads
- Runoff of pesticides or nutrients from fertilizers
- Runoff of nutrients and bacteria from animal manure
- Cannabis and agricultural water quality handout
Agricultural lands can protect and improve water quality. For example, healthy streamside vegetation prevents runoff from excessive sediment and stabilizes stream banks.
Each region of the state has its own unique way to protect Oregon's waterways. Growing cannabis is an agricultural activity. For more information about cannabis and water quality, visit the Agricultural Water Quality Program.
Food safety: Do I need a license?
In general, ODA is responsible for regulating the production, processing, and distribution of food products in the state of Oregon.
- Marijuana and hemp foods (anything we eat or drink) must be manufactured according to the same standards for traditional foods. This includes food safety licenses for the ingredient manufacturers, the food manufacturers, and the retailers. There are specific packaging and labeling requirements for products in the OLCC system. ODA can provide on-site consultation assistance, review site plans, and issue a food safety license.
- ODA will not be able to issue a home kitchen (domestic) food safety license for the manufacturing of marijuana foods.
- Cannabis and food safety licensing handout
If you are considering manufacturing a marijuana or hemp food, visit the Food Safety Program.
Pesticides: What should I know before I use a product?
With respect to pesticide use, the pesticide label is the law.
- There are no pesticides specifically labeled for the production of marijuana or hemp. ODA developed criteria to help cultivators identify pesticide products that may be used for the production of Oregon cannabis. ODA has compiled a guide list of pesticide products that satisfy the criteria.
- Pesticide labels contain both mandatory and advisory statements in order to provide protection for the pesticide user. Worker safety requirements can differ between an indoor grow and an outdoor grow. Following pesticide label instructions is not only the law but reduces the risk of unintended consequences.
- Only general use pesticides may be allowed for cannabis, therefore a pesticide applicator license is not required as long as the pesticide application is made to your own cannabis crop. If you hire an individual or a business to make a pesticide application to your crop, the applicator and business must be appropriately licensed by ODA.
- Cannabis and pesticides handout
Scales: What kind of scale do I need?
Selling marijuana or hemp items, whether the sale is between a grower and a processor or a retailer and a customer, must take place using an ODA licensed commercial scale. All points of a commercial transaction must take place on a licensed commercial scale.
It is important to remember that not just any scale will work.
- The scale must be National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved.
- The size of the transaction will also dictate the capacity of the scale needed. For example, a scale used to sell large batches of flower to a wholesaler may not be appropriate for selling a small amount of flower to a retail customer.
- Cannabis and commercial scale licensing handout
For more information about ODA licensed commercial scales, visit the Weights and Measures Program.