STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Oregon preparing for possible interstate pot commerce

With an eye toward making Oregon as big in pot as it is in craft brews and pinot noir, the state House passed a bill Tuesday that would empower the governor to enter agreements with other states for the transfer of marijuana.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 12:01 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2019 5:13 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With an eye toward making Oregon as big in pot as it is in craft brews and pinot noir, the state House passed a bill Tuesday that would empower the governor to enter agreements with other states for the transfer of marijuana.

The 43-16 vote came after the leader of minority Republicans urged passage of the Democrat-sponsored bill, noting the measure would set up Oregon to provide pot if the U.S. government ever permits interstate sales.

"The federal stance toward states with legal cannabis could change quickly, through congressional action or something as simple as a memo from the Department of Justice," said Republican Rep. Carl Wilson, who represents Grants Pass in a prime marijuana-growing area.

Illinois is set to become the 11th state to allow recreational marijuana use after lawmakers there passed a bill on May 31 that the governor has backed. A total of 33 states have legalized medical marijuana.

The Oregon Senate previously passed the interstate sales bill. It now goes to Gov. Kate Brown for consideration. The Democrat has been a vocal supporter of Oregon's marijuana industry.

With its mild, moist climate and rich soil, Oregon has a long history of pot growing, but a limited market. Of its population of 4 million, around 20 percent are regular marijuana users, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Supply is running twice as high as demand, meaning the surplus from last year's harvest alone could amount to roughly 2.3 million pounds of pot.

The bill is intended to address the biggest hurdle Oregon's legal marijuana industry faces — the inability to access other legal markets, said Adam J. Smith, executive director of the Craft Cannabis Alliance industry group.

"This is a major statement by the Oregon Legislature, that says we understand the future of this industry and Oregon's place in it," Smith said in an interview.

Rep. Rob Nosse, a Portland Democrat, urged passage of the bill as he stood next to a pot plant perched on his desk.

"The trend is toward the normalization and the mainstreaming of cannabis across much of our country," Nosse told fellow lawmakers. He said Oregon's inability to legally export its pot to other states would be like Florida being unable to sell its oranges across state lines.

He said Oregon's craft beer and wine producers have shown they can compete in the big leagues, and cannabis can do the same.

Democratic Sen. Floyd Prozanski of Eugene, who sponsored the bill, said he was looking forward to a time when the federal government would legalize interstate sales or say it would tolerate the practice.

"We will kind of be like what bourbon is to Kentucky," he said.

The measure is part of a strategy to deal with Oregon's huge pot surplus and prevent diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market.

Another bill passed on May 30 gives the Oregon Liquor Control Commission more leeway to deny new pot-growing licenses, based on supply and demand.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 12438

Reported Deaths: 237
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah296672
Marion189354
Washington189221
Umatilla10418
Clackamas100628
Malheur4002
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Lane3093
Deschutes2680
Yamhill2059
Linn18210
Jackson1810
Polk17912
Jefferson1680
Morrow1541
Klamath1381
Wasco1171
Benton1156
Hood River1060
Douglas640
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Columbia540
Coos540
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa150
Baker120
Curry90
Sherman50
Gilliam20
Harney20
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 333357

Reported Deaths: 7089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1363573824
Riverside25748550
Orange25255424
San Diego19929422
San Bernardino19502307
Fresno828288
Imperial7977136
Alameda7976148
San Joaquin698870
Kern660198
Santa Clara6542167
Tulare5942152
Sacramento571483
Stanislaus497351
Contra Costa485290
San Francisco459050
Ventura424653
San Mateo4045112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin370232
Kings297039
Monterey279018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma181916
Placer111411
San Luis Obispo10065
Yolo92928
Madera8938
Santa Cruz5693
Napa5184
Lassen4280
Sutter4034
San Benito3622
Butte3384
El Dorado3070
Shasta2006
Yuba1983
Glenn1760
Humboldt1654
Nevada1631
Mendocino1320
Lake1211
Colusa1130
Tehama1071
Tuolumne730
Calaveras670
Del Norte610
Mono521
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo351
Mariposa321
Plumas190
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Crater Lake
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 67°
Grants Pass
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Klamath Falls
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Sunny and hotter Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Tuesday, July 14 morning weather

Image

Rogue CC postpones fall sports to spring

Image

Monday, July 13th Evening Weather

Image

Rogue Retreat speaks out after homeless man killed in stabbing

Image

California Governor rolls back reopening throughout the state

Image

Rogues fall to Seals in Sunday afternoon pitching duel

Image

Monday, July 13 afternoon weather

Image

Reality Tease

Image

Monday, July 13 morning weather

Image

Sunday, July 12 evening weather