In a big move from baby steps to leaps and bounds, the Oregon House made measure history by passing a bill that will permit the legal exportation between cannabis markets within legal states. On Tuesday, SB 582 was passed with a bi-partisan vote of 42-17.
The sponsor of historic bill SB 582, Senator Floyd Prozanski, played a huge role in advocating for cannabis policy in addition to the great efforts of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis, who have been working directly with lawmakers to craft the foundation for the process of cannabis exportation since 2015.
“This is a very strong statement by the Oregon Legislature, and one that will reverberate across the country,” says State Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), who sponsored the bill. “The future of this industry is that cannabis will primarily be grown where it grows best, and most efficiently, and most sustainably. That’s what functioning legal markets do.”
According to ORCA (Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association), Governor Brown is expected to sign and authorize the bill which would be a major advancement for cannabis reform, as she would be given full authority to enter into agreements with other legal states about interstate transfers of marijuana between states.
Casey Houlihan, the Executive Director of ORCA stated, “This is a major paradigm shift for sure. When we started the conversation around cannabis exports four years ago, this was not on the radar of most legislators. But it’s really smart public policy – it’s important to our members, important for our state, and important for the future of the entire cannabis industry. Pass this bill at this critical moment is a testament to the massive value for the industry in building strong relationships with legislators and working to educate our lawmakers in Salem.”
Not only is the passage of SB 582 an extremely bold statement by the Oregon House that there is an understanding that the future of the cannabis industry can be heavily influenced by Oregon’s prominent place within a blossoming industry, but also change the overall direction of the somewhat scant perception of the mutual benefits created through long term relationships across the board.
Besides opening markets to cannabis from the world’s most established marijuana production province, this bill with give local producers and processors an opportunity to showcase the range of products they have to offer to the masses that could benefit from them.
“The Emerald Region, from Oregon through Northern California, is one of the best and most important cannabis-producing regions in the world, said Adam J. Smith, Founder and Executive Director of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, who has supported the bill for some time. “In fact, this region has produced the majority of the nation’s domestic cannabis for generations. As we move inexorably towards regulated markets, this bill will brings us one step closer to sharing Oregon’s bounty, legally, with consumers everywhere.”
Although this is an exciting time for cannabis legalization progression, there is a bit of a catch. Before the governor can enter into such agreements, the federal government has the final say when it comes to allowing transfers statute or specify tolerance via a Department of Justice memo or policy directive. So we don’t exactly have the green light…yet.
Houlihan continued, “For years, most members of the legislature have been overwhelmed with implementing cannabis legalization. With the passage of this bill, Oregon’s lawmakers will likely factor in the many positive local impacts of our position as a global leader in the cannabis production.”Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association. (2019). Oregon House Passes Historic Cannabis Export Bill [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www.oregoncannabisretailers.com/blog/7343618