The legislation, which passed the Senate last month, would permit the governor to enter into agreements with other states under certain circumstances in order to engage in interstate cannabis commerce. The chamber approved the bill in a 42 to 17 vote.
“This is a very strong statement by the Oregon Legislature, and one that will reverberate across the country,” Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D), the bill sponsor, said in a press release. “The future of this industry is that cannabis will primarily be grown where it grows best, and most efficiently, and most sustainably. That’s what functioning legal markets do.”
States involved in the agreement must border Oregon and must have legal marijuana systems in place, meaning at that California, Washington and Nevada would be able to work with Oregon. Idaho would not be able to participate because they currently don’t allow legal cannabis. Transporting marijuana products would have to occur via roadways rather than through airspace.
Language of the legislation indicates that the federal government wouldn’t necessarily have to formally legalize cannabis for it to become operative. That’s one possibility, but the other is that the Justice Department could adopt an administrative policy that “allows or tolerates interstate transfer of marijuana items.”