Oregon Senate Passes Cannabis Export Bill
Oregon is looking to be the leading pioneers in cannabis exports and trades with the newly passed Bill 582. This bill authorizes the governor to enter agreements with other states for the purposes of “cross-jurisdictional coordinate and enforcement” of marijuana-related businesses and “cross-jurisdictional delivery of marijuana items” between Oregon and other states. The Governor is expected to sign this bill that has moved to the house where it has bipartisan support.
What will this mean for Oregon and it’s cannabis businesses? Not much at all for now actually. As there as at least two additional obstacles before marijuana import / export can start happening. First off, SB 582 becomes operative only on the occurrence of either: 1 – The amendment of federal law to allow interstate transfer of marijuana, or 2 – the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issues an opinion or memorandum “allowing or tolerating” the interstate transfer of marijuana. Secondly, SB 582 contemplates that another state must pass these same laws before either state can negotiate an agreement.
Federally this issue holds oregon from moving forward. There are a few existing paths moving forward. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently reintroduced the STATES act. These acts would carve out state law-compliant cannabis activity from the Controlled Substances Act. If the STATES act passes agreements contemplated by SB 582 could be legal. However if that doesn’t work a alternative method is possible. A memorandum from the DOJ “allowing” interstate commerce – U.S. Attorney General William Barr is on record favoring reform of federal cannabis laws.
With Oregon being the first state to advance in this kind of legislation so far. While many states are sure to follow in the coming years. Oregon faces a surplus of cannabis products for its adult consumers and would benefit from being able to export it. What kind of change will we see for the Oregon cannabis community and how will they respond to this bill coming into play?