Oregon marijuana industry outgrows its demand

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The state is looking to sell excess products to other states

According to recent reports, Oregon has produced three times the amount of marijuana than can be smoked by the state’s residents. Despite federal legislation that still prohibits marijuana use, Oregon is hoping to find some relief to its oversupply by turning to other states in order to reduce the excess amount.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is responsible for tracking every cannabis plant in the state from the time it is planted until it is sold. It indicates that the amount of locally grown marijuana this year is already three times the amount that was consumed last year. As cultivators prepare to harvest their crops next month, this could turn into an even bigger problem and might see the amount of inventory double from where it sits today.

Adam Smith, the director of Oregon’s Craft Cannabis Alliance (CCA), sees a perfect solution to the issue. He suggests allowing the state’s growers to export their excess amounts to other states where marijuana is legal. He explains, “We legalized cannabis, but the only people making a living in the cannabis industry are the ones who decided not to get licenses. A licensed transfer into another legal state isn’t radical. There is no faster way to incentivize growers to transition from the black market to the legal, regulated market than legalizing export.”

Smith adds, “Exports don’t solve everything. But no conversation about cannabis — whether it’s talking economic potential or legal weed being diverted to the illegal market — is complete without acknowledging the logical move toward legalizing cannabis exports… All we need to get the ball rolling is a bill that gives permission for the OLCC to allow legal exports between Oregon and other legal states.”

Of course, the big problem with this solution is the federal government. Since marijuana is illegal on a federal level, transporting marijuana across state lines is considered a federal offense. Since everyone already knows that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is no fan of marijuana, he would probably be the first to be waiting at the border for any initial attempt at interstate sales.

There have been bills introduced at the federal level to try to overcome this rather large hurdle, but lawmakers have already shown that they are not exactly rushing to approve any marijuana-related legislation. With a little luck, though, perhaps they will have an epiphany and realize the benefits of approving a number of pending marijuana bills.