Oregon

Mon
26
Feb

Jeff Sessions brings the war on marijuana to Washington, DC

Few industries have grown with the speed and consistency of legal marijuana in recent years. Depending on the source, the legal cannabis industry is growing at between 23% and 35% annually, with North American sales estimated to push well past $20 billion a year by 2021. With numbers this large, it's no wonder why investors have piled into pot stocks and pushed their valuations considerably higher.

Support for cannabis has also shifted dramatically in what could be considered a relatively short time period. Gallup, which has polled Americans on their perception of weed since 1969, found this past October that 64% of respondents supported the national legalization of pot.

Thu
22
Feb

Cannabis summit inhales Oregon's plethora of pot

On Feb. 2, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, Billy Williams held a "Marijuana Summit" and invited Gov. Kate Brown, law enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, regulatory agencies and industry professionals to attend. Major props to Williams for holding it and inviting representation from the cannabis industry. It wasn't that long ago that such invites simply didn't happen, and it should be applauded.

Williams had called for the summit in an op-ed piece in the Oregonian, in which he addressed the rescinding of the Cole memorandum by Sessions, and ominously declared, "The move gives U.S. Attorneys wide latitude to develop district-specific strategies and deploy department resources without Washington, D.C. artificially declaring some cases off limits."

Thu
22
Feb

Law enforcement officials say Oregon is struggling to contain black market cannabis

The District Attorney and Sheriff of Deschutes County sent a letter to state cannabis regulators decrying overproduction and black market sales, continuing a string of legal weed struggles in Oregon.

It's been a rough couple of months for Oregon's legal weed industry. After uncovering a number of retailers selling adult-use cannabis to minors, things have only gotten worse, with an internal audit turning up significant regulatory issues and threats of federal enforcement thanks to underenforced overproduction and black market sales.

Wed
21
Feb

Oregon officials struggle to ID which pot sites are legal

An Oregon sheriff and district attorney blasted efforts to regulate legalized marijuana, saying Tuesday the state is allowing black market operations to proliferate.

The issue is especially sensitive because U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently allowed federal prosecutors more leeway to pursue federal anti-marijuana laws in states like Oregon that have legalized pot. The top federal attorney in Oregon, Billy Williams, earlier this month said Oregon produces more marijuana than it consumes, with the overproduction feeding the black market. He urged locals to address the problem to avoid a possible crackdown.

Fri
16
Feb

Price of marijuana in Oregon plummets as the number of recreational pot growers explodes

The retail and wholesale prices of pot in Oregon are falling with the proliferation of producers and recreational marijuana shops, according to an analysis by a state economist.

“The biggest thing is just competition,” said Josh Lehner, an economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis in Salem. “As we get more stores, as we get more growers, (as we get) more processors, it becomes a price competition. Prices start to fall, particularly when supply is outpacing demand or supply is ramping up faster than ­demand is growing.”

Pot prices in Oregon are ­falling up to 20 percent a year, Lehner said. And he expects the prices to continue to drop.

Mon
12
Feb

Seed-to-sale tracking flaws in pacific northwest highlight legal weed’s growing pains

In the span of a week, Oregon regulators found inconsistencies in the pot industry’s inventory self-reporting, while Washington authorities reported a hack in the state’s cannabis distribution system.

Legal cannabis regulators in America's Pacific Northwest reported significant issues with state-approved seed-to-sale tracking systems in both Oregon and Washington this week, emphasizing the legal cannabis industry's extended infancy, even in states with years of recreational sales experience.

Thu
08
Feb

Oregon audit finds need for more IT staff, guidance for regulating Marijuana

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission lacks "robust" monitoring and enforcement controls to track the state's $480 million marijuana industry, making illegal sales difficult to detect, a new audit concludes.

The Secretary of State's review raises alarms about how effectively the agency oversees the flourishing marijuana market in Oregon.

The report comes as Oregon finds itself in the federal crosshairs for its role as an illegal exporter of cannabis to other states. Just last week, Billy Williams, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, convened a summit to discuss the illicit marijuana trade.

Thu
08
Feb

Study in Oregon reveals public considers alcohol more harmful than Marijuana

As the national conversation about marijuana legalization continues, an important question is how changing marijuana policy may influence use of other substances, such as alcohol.

A new study, led by researchers at RTI International, surveyed more than 1,900 adults in Oregon prior to the legalization of marijuana in the state and found that more than half (52.5%) consider alcohol to be more harmful than marijuana while few (7.5%) believe marijuana is more harmful to a person's health. 

Wed
07
Feb

Federal law enforcement weighs how to police Cannabis in Trump era

Law enforcement from around country convened in downtown Portland, Oregon, last week with one goal in mind: figure out how to regulate cannabis during the Trump administration.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams hosted the meeting. It included the leaders of state agencies, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and seven U.S. attorneys from states such as Washington, Colorado, Idaho, California and Montana.

Williams opened the meeting by stating that there’s more cannabis being produced in Oregon than can be legally consumed.

“And make no mistake about it, we’re going to do something about it,” he said, during the summit’s opening remarks.

Mon
05
Feb

Oregon is producing three times more marijuana than it can consume

Oregon is producing three times more marijuana than it can consume with “formidable” amounts now ending up on the black market, officials have warned.

US Attorney Billy Williams told law enforcement representatives from across the US on Friday that the state, where recreational cannabis use is legal, had a serious overproduction problem.

Mr Williams said officials needed a "bottom-line answer" on how much excess marijuana was being produced and how much of it ends up on the black market.

In a local newspaper column last month, the attorney warned huge surpluses were attracting criminal networks, causing money laundering and drug violence.

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