Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed a host of new cannabis bills into law, including one that contains language legalizing the inter-state trade of cannabis products. Other new laws expand upon the state’s cannabis expungement process, add protections for medical cannabis patients against discriminatory landlords, and add limits for the licensing of new cannabis operators.
Senate Bill 582, approved by lawmakers earlier this month, would let cannabis operators in the state export their extra product to neighboring states with cannabis programs. The bill is aimed at relieving the Oregon cannabis market from an excessive glut of products — a study found earlier this year that the state has an oversupply of cannabis that, at current consumption rates, would last six and half years.
Under the new law, however, the program will require federal government approval before cross-state sales can begin and there is currently not a federal policy in place regarding the issue. Additionally, any exported cannabis products will have to be transferred via roadways and could not pass through states where prohibition still stands, so any potential exports will be limited to just Washington, California, and Nevada.
Meanwhile, the aptly named Senate Bill 420 contains cannabis expungement language that sets up individuals with low-level cannabis possession charges (for one ounce or less) to file for those charges to be expunged from their criminal record. Under the new law, applying for expungement will not cost a fee and objections to any request must be filed within 30 days.
Senate Bill 218 — another new law aimed at reducing the state’s cannabis oversupply — authorizes the Oregon Liquor Control Commission “to refuse to issue initial marijuana production licenses based on supply of and demand for marijuana,” meaning that regulators can temporarily cease issuing licenses in the pursuit of a healthier marketplace. Previously, there were no legal limitations to the number of cannabis cultivators in Oregon.
Senate Bill 970 includes language protecting medical cannabis patients from discrimination by landlords. The new law, which “limits applicable screening criteria for residential landlords,” states specifically that landlords cannot discriminate based on a renter’s “status as a medical marijuana patient” or because they have a “conviction based solely on the use or possession of marijuana.”