Oregon could become the first state to allow marijuana exports to other legal states under a bill that’s been drafted for consideration in 2019.
According to The Statesman Journal, a cannabis business alliance is working with state lawmakers to push the legislation forward. And at least one Democratic state senator, Floyd Prozanski, has already signaled that he’d be amenable to the proposal.
Adam Smith, executive director of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, which is behind the effort, said allowing interstate exports of Oregon’s marijuana products would empower the burgeoning legal market to expand in a way currently prohibited under both state and federal law.
“There are plenty of markets that would be thrilled to have world-class cannabis. But prohibition keeps us from sending it into those markets.”
Under the proposed legislation, Oregon wholesalers would be able to export cannabis products to other legal states such as Washington State and California, but it would not be legal to transport through non-legal states. The exports would only be authorized if Oregon’s governor made a deal with the receiving states.
Prozanski made an earlier attempt to free up cannabis exports, but his bill died in the state legislature in 2017.
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Federal prohibition is intrinsically at odds with state-legal marijuana activity, but interstate exports could put states at particular risk. While former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era guidance on federal cannabis enforcement efforts in January, its provisions have largely still applied, and the memo explicitly forbade the “diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.”
The plan for now is to get lawmakers on board with the bill and vote on it in 2019, with exports estimated to begin in 2021.
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