An Initial Assessment of Cannabis in Oregon

Oregon has had a state-authorized medical cannabis system since 1998, and, in November 2014, Oregon voters approved the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act (commonly known as Measure 91) to legally commercialize non-medical retail cannabis in the state implemented as of July 2015. In recognition of the need to continuously examine the effects of cannabis production, distribution, and consumption in Oregon, the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA established a research project based upon a framework of shared concerns – areas of common interest to both the federal and state government – and then impartially gathered and examined readily available data, which is relevant to those concerns. The project establishes an empirical foundation on which ongoing strategic analyses can be conducted. The project findings have been published in An Initial Assessment of Cannabis Production, Distribution, and Consumption in Oregon 2018 – An Insight Report. This research effort does not purport to be a policy evaluation or policy performance review; rather this assessment provides a verifiable analysis of assorted information and data, which has been centralized as part of this effort.

An Initial Assessment of Cannabis Production, Distribution, and Consumption in Oregon 2018 – An Insight Report 

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Cannabis Wire Report On OR US Attorney’s Reaction To Report & It Isn’t Good…..

 

Oregon US Attorney said cannabis in the state is “out of control,” and called for officials in the “state to wake up, slow down.”

This was in response to HIDTA report about cannabis regulation in the state that was released last week.

Billy J. Williams called out state officials for not doing enough to curb the sprawling overproduction that is having “considerable and negative impacts” on both land use and water sources. Williams said the issues outlined in the HIDTA report, which Cannabis Wire covered last week, need to be addressed “immediately.”

The HIDTA report found that cannabis production is more than 5 times consumer demand, and that more than $48 million worth of cannabis (14,550 lbs) was diverted to 37 states between July 2015 and January 2018. Further, cannabis isn’t just leaving the state in automobiles. Between July 2017 and March 2018, people tried to pack up and depart from the Port of Portland International Airport with $861,000 worth of cannabis products.

“State officials should respond quickly and in a comprehensive manner to address the many concerns raised by this assessment,” Williams wrote. “What is often lost in this discussion is the link between marijuana and serious, interstate criminal activity. Overproduction is rampant and the illegal transport of product out of state—a violation of both state and federal law—continues unchecked.”

+      Back in May, Williams released a memo regarding cannabis enforcement priorities in the state. Those priorities were determined, he wrote, after a summit held in February in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ January decision to rescind the Cole Memo. The summit brought together more than 100 people from 70 different organizations, including Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and reps from 14 U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

The May memo outlined the need for more data around cannabis production and distribution, the need for more enforcement resources, and the need to address “significant overproduction,” the result of which has been “a thriving black market” that “is exporting marijuana across the country, including to states that have not legalized marijuana under their state laws.”

Williams wrote, “I will not make broad proclamations of blanket immunity from prosecution to those who violate federal law” and made clear that state law enforcement officials could use asset forfeiture, civil litigation, and administrative enforcement to prosecute offenders.