Oregon Lawmakers Eye Solutions for Excess Cannabis Supply

Share this with your friends

It sounds like a cannabis lover’s dream scenario: a market so saturated with legal, high-quality cannabis that growers can’t even find a way to sell it anymore. Prices drop out, making it easier than ever for those who enjoy cannabis or who use it for medical purposes to safely and affordably access the cannabis plant.

In a way, that is what has happened in Oregon since the introduction of recreational adult legalization. Thanks in part to the relatively liberal language of Oregon’s 2014 legalization law, Oregon has seen an unprecedented influx of cannabis supply from new growers. Even those well-established in the industry prior to legalization now find themselves struggling to compete for buyers and recoup their expenses.

These issues haven’t gone unnoticed by state lawmakers. Just last week, two new bills wound up signed into law by the governor. Both of them aim to help Oregon’s cannabis market find some sort of supply and demand equilibrium.

The first, SB 218, will change the way that the state handles licenses. They may not issue new licenses or even renewals in situations where potential supply will far outpace demand in the future. That includes right now, and some people interested in the cannabis industry aren’t happy about that decision.

Of course, the provisions of SB 218 may become less important thanks to SB 582. This bill theoretically creates a legal framework in Oregon to allow for the interstate sale of cannabis grown by legal producers in the state of Oregon. Other states with legal recreational or medical programs may eventually cooperate with Oregon under this new bill, allowing for the exportation of excess Oregon cannabis to states where supply is not enough to meet the current demand.

Under the current federal system, however, those interstate transfers are currently illegal. With the recent approval of a federal appropriations bill with an important cannabis law rider attached, it could feasibly be possible for states with legalization laws on the books to buy and sell cannabis from one another in the near future. Oregon could very well be the first state to take advantage of the shifting federal stance on cannabis.

Obviously, for most cannabis businesses, the implications of SB 582 to are far more favorable than those of 218. It will be interesting to watch how regulatory efforts impact the Oregon market and how other states address similar or opposite supply and demand issues as legalization and federal polic changes continue to roll out across the country.

For previous Ladybud articles about Oregon, click here.