Oregon farmers have grown so much legal marijuana in the last couple of years that it would take, by one estimate, almost eight years to smoke the excess, if no more were grown. Neither of those things is likely to happen, and that has at least one group looking at out-of-state sales as a partial answer to the problem.
It’s an idea worth exploring.
The state’s marijuana industry is in its infancy, and it’s bound to change in the years ahead. We do know some things, however. The state’s legal marijuana flower supply stands at about 1.3 million pounds, according to Willamette Week, far more than the 166,000 pounds of recreational weed sold in here in 2018.
Allowing exports to other states would cut the surplus and certainly keep some farmers in business. It’s an idea being pushed by the Craft Cannabis Alliance.
It’s also an idea that made its way into a bill sponsored by Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, in 2017. The measure, Senate Bill 1042, made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 vote, but saw no action after that. Prozanski has said he’s willing to work with the cannabis alliance on a proposal for the coming legislative session.
Even if lawmakers can agree on a measure that overcomes the legal problems out-of-state sales would face — shipping across states where weed is illegal, for example — sponsors could expect pushback from those who believe the state shouldn’t have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Still, it’s an idea worth pursuing. Use of recreational marijuana is allowed in only 10 states, to be sure, but that no doubt will change. Knowing that, there’s no reason why Oregon farmers should not be allowed to grow weed here and ship it elsewhere, just as they do Christmas trees.