The Oregon legislative session kicked off in earnest last week, with 28 proposed cannabis bills crowding the docket. In this post, I will run down the list and offer brief comments on each offering, as I do every year. Before diving in, though, some context will be useful.
First, the Oregon legislature is somewhat dysfunctional. Last year, the session was cut short when Republican legislators skipped town to protest the Democrats’ climate change bill. A series of draft cannabis laws (along with everything else) was left in the lurch. This year, the legislative focus seems centered on crisis response (COVID, wildfires, etc.) with big policies taking a back seat. In a sense, that bodes well for cannabis bill prospects, alongside the fact that the session is slated to last a full five months. But the Democrats still do not have a quorum-proof majority, so really, anything could happen.
Second, the recent success of ballot Measure 110 (which decriminalized all drugs in Oregon) will have a significant, unpredictable impact on cannabis legislating. Most immediately, it will peel off about 75% of current statewide marijuana tax revenues. This is because Measure 110 “dedicates all marijuana tax revenue above $11,250,000 quarterly [to ‘addiction