In the legal market, licensed companies are currently sitting on a surplus of roughly one million pounds, enough to keep the state stoned at current levels for six years. Meanwhile, Oregon’s illicit growers just keep doing what they’ve always done, supplying unlicensed cannabis to appreciative consumers in states where a combination of restrictive laws and poor climate make for a net cannabis deficit.
A 2018 regional cannabis summit created a template that East Coast governors used in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given those dynamics, it’s no surprise that lawmakers in Oregon have been at the forefront of national efforts to give legal producers a way to export out of state.
In June 2019, Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation that would allow Oregon to make agreements with other states to import and export legal cannabis, but only if federal law changes to expressly permit the practice. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer followed up by introducing the State Cannabis Commerce Act, which would do just that.
Nearly a year later, however, that federal legislation has attracted little direct support in Congress. The overall effort remains entirely symbolic. That’s spurred some within the cannabis industry to start asking if the issue should be forced—if moving forward with interstate cannabis commerce without a direct federal sign-off might be a risky but necessary next step.