Why We Should All Look to Oregon for the Future of Cannabis
With a new bill slated to allow cannabis exports, Oregon is one step ahead of the game. There’s just one tiny catch.
Oregon has been rocketing forward with its cannabis legislation, and a recently passed bill looks set to secure the state’s future in the cannabis industry. Senate Bill 582, which passed 19-20 in Oregon, could eventually allow for interstate trade of cannabis and cannabis products. The bill paves the way for both import and export across state lines and internationally, but with one important catch: not until federal cannabis laws catch up.
With this new legislation, Oregon is hoping to give its cannabis industry a head start when national cannabis laws inevitably change in the future. Furthermore, opening up external markets aims to improve the situation for Oregon’s cultivators, who currently find themselves in the horns of a curious dilemma.
Oregon Has Too Much Weed
The simple issue for Oregon is that it has grown too much cannabis. And contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as too much weed. Thanks to Oregon’s history of trailblazing cannabis legislation, the state has become one of the most favorable places in America to grow, which has led to a boom in cultivation, and subsequently, to overproduction.
Like all other legal states, Oregon’s cannabis market is an internal one. Meaning, they are unable to sell their surplus crop outside of the state. And with supply far outstripping Oregon’s demand, price per gram has plummeted by over 50 percent. Not only is this unsustainable for cultivators, but it also raised the spectre of the black market. With Oregon’s legal market prices so low, many cultivators have been forced into the illegal – but more lucrative – cross-border black markets in order to survive.
And this is why allowing for interstate and international trade is such an important victory for Oregon’s legal cannabis industry. However, like with all things cannabis regulation related, there is a complication.
Firstly, SB 482 has now passed to the House Floor, so it’s not over the finish line just yet. However, Oregon legislature has traditionally ruled favorably on cannabis matters, so it’s unlikely the bill will stumble at this final hurdle.
The real issue is that even if passed, none of it will come into effect until the federal ban on cannabis ends. The bill itself stipulates that one of two things need to happen before interstate trade can take place. One, cannabis is de-scheduled federally, or two, the Department of Justice issues a ruling allowing for interstate trade.
But even though nothing is going to change in the very near future, this bill is far more about what happens in the next few years.
While federal prohibition of cannabis isn’t going to end any time soon, the general feeling within the industry is that it won’t be an eternity either. Federal laws will eventually change, and Oregon has positioned itself to take maximum advantage when they finally do.
It’s not just domestic trade with other states that Oregon has its eyes on either, but also international export. It may only be a matter of a few short years before Oregon can capitalize on its cannabis production capacity and start supplying the world with high grade bud. When the time comes, the state of Oregon could well become one of the world’s greatest producers of cannabis.