Policy Recommendations Oregon

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Oregon

Grappling with an oversupply problem Oregon enacted SB 218, which authorizes the state to suspend issuing new cultivation licenses when supply exceeds demand. The state also approved SB 582, legislation authorizing interstate sales of cannabis should federal action occur removing cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The state also approved SB 420, establishing a procedure for criminal record expungement related to low-level cannabis convictions prior to 2014. Unfortunately the legislature was not able to secure passage of legislation introducing legal public consumption spaces during its short 35-day work period, or a bill that would have provided patient employment protections for off-work use. However Oregon did implement cannabis-related emergency measures under COVID, which included authorization for medical cannabis businesses to remain open during the health crisis, permission for patients to pre order medical cannabis and pick it up curbside to reduce exposure, and allowance for physicians to conduct patient evaluations via telehealth.

While the momentum for functional cannabis policy change in the Beaver State may have ebbed in recent sessions, ASA recommends that Oregon state and local lawmakers initiate new efforts to collaborate with patient advocacy groups to permanently maintain new program features organized under COVID, enact legislation to implement patient employment legal safeguards and provide authorized spaces for patients to consume cannabis to help patients in subsidized housing.