A quick rundown of some of the bills we’ve been tracking so far this year.
1) Export Bill Passes Crucial Committee Vote!
We’re extremely excited to announce that the bill that establishes the framework for cannabis exports passed out of committee last week, and is headed to the Oregon Senate floor. We have been working on this issue for five years, and its gratifying to see that attitudes have changed!
We owe our thanks to the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee for their leadership on this issue and recommended “Do Pass” vote!
Special thanks also to the Craft Cannabis Alliance for their partnership on this issue, and Adam Smith’s incredible leadership in the capitol building.
If you are interested in following the bill as it continues,
you can follow this link to SB 582’s OLIS page.
For additional information on what exactly this policy will look like and what happens next, and to hear more about what you can do as members of ORCA to help shepherd this bill through the rest of the policymaking process, be sure to attend our upcoming meeting in Portland on April 29th!
2) Automatic Expunctions For Past Cannabis Offenses
Description: Automatically removes past cannabis convictions and offenses from records without requiring manual expunction procedure.
Update/Status: Alive, proceeding
This has been the least controversial bill we’ve worked on yet, and it just had a very successful public hearing late last week with a work session (and committee vote) scheduled for today. This one should get through.
3) Employment Protections for Off-Hours Cannabis Use
Description: Prohibits employers from not hiring or firing a candidate/employee for off-hours cannabis consumption.
Update/Status: Alive (barely)
This bill just barely passed out of committee 4-3 after amendments were adopted to assuage the concerns of several key constituencies that felt this policy shouldn’t apply to them for safety reasons. Now, the bill needs to get scheduled for a vote in front of the full Senate, which may be an uphill battle since the committee vote was so close.
4) Prohibits medical cannabis consumers from being denied organ transplants based on having cannabis in their system
Description: Prohibits folks consuming medical cannabis with the recommendation of a doctor from being denied entry or participation in programs where they would be the recipient of a donated organ.
Update/Status: Dead 🙁 🙁
This bill failed to get scheduled for a work session before the deadline, and so we will have to continue this fight next year – and we will. No one should ever have to die because they choose to use cannabis.
5) Social Consumption/ Cannabis Lounges / Tasting Rooms
Description: Creates and regulates, under certain circumstances, limited licensing of consumption and event spaces specifically for cannabis.
Update/Status – Dead 🙁
Unfortunately, public health successfully rattled enough legislators for this to be perceived as controversial, and once again we were unable to schedule a work session before the deadline to move out of committee.