Sarah Climaco

Oregon Legislature Passes Cannabis Export Bill

Oregon lawmakers have advanced legislation that would let cannabis operators in the state export their extra product to neighboring states with cannabis programs. The proposal, however, will require federal government approval before cross-state sales can begin.

Full story after the jump.

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill allowing cannabis to be exported to bordering states with legal cannabis programs, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The measure passed the Senate 19-9 last month and the House yesterday by a 43-16 margin.

The bill includes one looming restriction – it requires federal government approval before cross-state sales can commence. Under the law, Oregon companies would be able to export their products to Washington state, California, and Nevada, which have all legalized cannabis for recreational use.

State Rep. Ken Helm (D), said that Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has already drafted federal legislation for the state to get the permission required under the bill to begin exporting cannabis products to its neighbors.

“This is another instance in which Oregon can be a leader and be poised to take advantage of rational rules around the cannabis market,” Helm said in an OPB interview.

Republican state Rep. Carl Wilson called the measure a “strategic business approach.”

“It correctly assesses the industry’s strengths and foresees a time when export turns Oregon’s oversupply in a constrained market into a traded commodity in a national marketplace.” – Wilson, via OPB

Two years ago, the state passed a law forbidding cannabis exporting or importing. Nevada’s adult-use law prohibits importing of cannabis products and California’s law doesn’t “authorize or permit a licensee to transport or distribute, or cause to be transported or distributed, marijuana or marijuana products outside the state, unless authorized by federal law.”

A February report by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission found that the state has 6.5 years of cannabis oversupply based on current demand. Last month, the House passed legislation to implement a two-year moratorium on cannabis licensing due to the OLCC findings. That bill has yet to be considered by the Senate.

The export bill moves next to Gov. Kate Brown (D) for her signature.

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