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Oregon Should Legalize Cannabis Exports in 2019

Cannabis Plants

I interviewed longtime activist, Adam Smith of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, ahead of his appearance at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland last September, as he was working hard to line up support for a bill to allow Oregon cultivators to export across state lines. Smith told me:

“Every month that we don’t open up a market, another local business goes out of business. Thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of Oregon capital are at risk,” Adam told me. “One Fix Cannabis will help accomplish some very important things: reduce oversupply and diversion to the illicit market; increase revenue for cash-strapped Oregon counties; and save jobs and capital while creating more jobs and generating more revenue.”

“Here’s how we accomplish the goal, step by step: we pass a bill that makes it legal for the Oregon governor to approve out-of-state transfers; make the need for exports a statewide and national news story; find partners, such as Nevada and New York, that are willing to have the conversation publicly; and pressure the federal government, but we can’t wait on the feds,” Adam continued.

Smith’s (and other’s,) hard work is paying off as support for exporting cannabis is growing and should be placed before legislators in 2019, as The Statesman Journal reported:

Marijuana could take the next step toward joining pinot noir, craft beer and hazelnuts on Oregon’s list of famous exports, under a proposal likely to go before state lawmakers in the new year.

The Craft Cannabis Alliance, a business association led by founder and executive director Adam Smith, is working with legislators to let Oregon start exporting pot to other legal-weed states by 2021.

Among them is Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who said he also plans to reintroduce provisions from Senate Bill 1042, a similar proposal that died in the statehouse in 2017.

A lot has progressed since Senator Prozanski’s export bill didn’t advance in 2017, as more states have legalized, Oregon’s supply has grown (resulting in a dramatic drop in price), and The Statesman Journal has joined the cause, with an editorial just ahead of the legislative session, “It’s time for Oregon to incentivize the export of pot.” The Journal’s op-ed states:

In the ’90s, wine enthusiasts dubbed the Mid-Willamette Valley the next Napa because of its ideal terroir, but it took years of wrangling before Oregon wines were allowed to be shipped out of state.

Now marijuana producers face the same regulatory hurdles, most borne of the federal illegality of marijuana.


The rules were designed to protect Oregon, but they’re not; they’re thwarting economic development. We hope 2019 will be a year to change that.

Leading the way on cannabis exports is a no-brainer for Oregon. In fact, it is imperative for Oregon’s small farmers to compete as the bounty of cannabis that exists in the state has created a cannabis consumer’s paradise with high-quality, low-priced products, but that is making it hard for craft cultivators to compete.

California should join Oregon in the fight to export across state lines as both states possess the best climate for outdoor cultivation. As we legalize across the nation and world, we should be cognizant of the environmental impacts that indoor cultivation has, particularly in places such as Arizona and Nevada. The time has come for the cannabis industry to move beyond our own borders.

The International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco this February 7-8, 2019, is the place to be to get the latest information and network with top investors and entrepreneurs in the industry. Early-bird tickets are on sale now, until January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to BarcelonaBerlinZurich, and Vancouver. Early-bird tickets are on sale for all of our 2019 events.  

cannabis exports, Craft Cannabis Alliance, Floyd Prozanski, Statesman Journal