EUGENE, Ore. -- Marijuana could take the next step toward joining pinot noir and craft beer on Oregon's list of famous exports, under a proposal likely to go before state lawmakers in the new year.
Travis Mackenzie, co-owner of T.J's in downtown Eugene, is in high spirits after hearing the news.
"Places where it's really hot and dry to grow cannabis real well, definitely people would see an increase in quality if we were able to bring cannabis to those states," Mackenzie said.
The effort is being led by the industry association Craft Cannabis Alliance who said there is a great demand for Oregon marijuana outside of the state. They said exports would end Oregon's oversupply problem and stabilize prices.
"Why not, said marijuana user Dustin Ambrose. "You got something good you might as well show it to everyone. look at the micro- beers we have the best beer in the country, share it with other people, it's what we are known for."
According to the Statesmen Journal, The Craft Cannabis Alliance is working with legislators to let Oregon start exporting pot to other legal-weed states by 2021. Among them is Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a Democrat in Eugene, who said he also plans to reintroduce provisions from Senate Bill 1042, a similar proposal that died in the statehouse in 2017.
According to draft language in his 2017 bill, wholesalers would be able to ship across state lines so long as the governor has made a pact with the receiving state to allow deliveries. On top that, they would only be able to ship it by ground, not air, to neighboring states to avoid federal regulations. That means Oregon marijuana could be shipped to California, Washington, and Nevada, but not to Colorado because you would have to go through states where the drug is not legal.
"It would be a big deal to the industry here," Mackenzie said. "We are oversupplied and under demand and that solves a lot of problems and it gives patents access to really good quality Oregon cannabis."
KEZI 9 News heard from Prozanski late in the day, he says his bill will be assigned to a committee on January 14th. He says he expects marijuana to be legal nationwide in the next five years.