On Feb. 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee made the first step toward what cannabis advocates hope will eventually be interstate trade in cannabis, when the committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 582.
The bill would establish a framework for “cross-jurisdictional coordination and enforcement of marijuana-related businesses,” between adjoining states in which cannabis is legal (right now, that would be California, Nevada and Washington). The bill specifically prohibits transporting marijuana by air, because airspace is federally regulated, or through “any mode of transportation subject solely to federal regulation.”
That latter condition would appear to leave open the eventual movement of cannabis on highways and roads subject to state and local regulation, although it is unlikely cannabis producers or wholesalers will be in a hurry to challenge federal laws that forbid such movements.
Among those testifying in favor of the move toward cross-border cannabis: the city of Portland. Suk Rhee, the director of the city’s Office of Community and Civic Life, and Brandon Goldner, the city’s cannabis program supervisor, said Oregon can help other states get implement recreational cannabis and extend the state’s brand ahead of eventual national legalization.
“Recreational cannabis marketplaces in each state have been limited to trade within their own borders,” they said in written testimony. “We believe the time has come for that to change.”
By now, the towering over-supply of recreational cannabis in Oregon is a matter of widespread knowledge.
Policymakers decided early on that they’d target the state’s illegal market by granting an unlimited number of licenses to grow and sell recreational weed. That policy succeeded: a recent report from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission found that there’s currently six-and-a-half years worth of consumption