OEN NewsCannabis: What’s on the Oregon Legislature Docket for the 2019 Session? By Carla Quisenberry

Post contributed by Carla Quisenberry

The 2019 session of the Oregon Legislature began January 22 and there is lots on the agenda relating to cannabis. Provided below is a summary of select draft cannabis-related bills. Monitor the progress of the bills and find the full text here. A lot can happen between now and June 30, the end of the 2019 session, so stay tuned!

SB 639

Provides for regulation by Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) of consumption and sale of marijuana items at temporary events, including licensure of premises on which temporary events are held. If passed it would require the OLCC to regulate social consumption businesses and event spaces, allow for the sale of cannabis in these clubs, tasting tours on farms (similar to wine) and expanded legal cannabis delivery into private and temporary residences (like hotels). Not only would this create new business opportunities but it also provides for legal places for those who do not own their own homes in Oregon, such as renters and tourists, to consume cannabis.

HB 2233

HB 2233 is very similar to SB 639, however it only provides for the regulation of temporary events and cannabis lounges.  The fundamental difference between the two pieces of legislation is that while SB 639 creates a legalized framework for indoor smoking and vaping (meaning consumers can smoke indoors), HB 2233 does not.

SB 218

Authorizes OLCC to refuse to issue marijuana production licenses based on market demand and other relevant factors. This draft bill is proposed in response to the marijuana oversupply in Oregon, currently at 6.5 years’ worth of theoretical supply.

SB 582

Also in response to the oversupply, SB 582 would provide a framework for the export of cannabis via interstate compacts to other neighboring states that have legalized the drug (Washington, California, and Nevada), allowing Oregon to serve markets where the supply is needed. Some advocates see the bill is a preliminary step for Oregon to be ready when the federal government decriminalizes marijuana.

SB 420

SB 420 directs the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) to find old misdemeanor convictions and ask prosecutors to have those convictions set aside so that they can also be expunged if they are now legal under state law. There currently is an expungement procedure in place but it requires attorney assistance and is both long and costly.

HB 2655

HB 2655 would prohibit employers from conditioning employment on employees refraining from using a substance, like cannabis, that is lawful to use under current state laws during nonworking hours, unless the restriction falls into expressly specified exceptions. For both recreational cannabis users and medical patients, this proposed bill would remove the potential of random drug testing and potentially create employment opportunities.

About the author:

Carla Quisenberry is an attorney with Miller Nash Graham & Dunn. She counsels cannabis-related clients on protecting their intellectual property assets and assists cannabis businesses with state licensing issues and related disputes. Her practice also includes patent, trademark, and copyright acquisition, litigation and licensing, and in matters related to trade-secret misappropriation and unfair competition. Carla can be reached by email at carla.quisenberry@millernash.com or by phone at 503.205.2306.

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