How Oregon wound up with way more pot than it can smoke

The state’s glut of marijuana – over 1m lb of unsold pot – is in many ways the result of an industry still finding its feet.

Trey Willison, a cannabis farmer in Eugene, first started worrying last May about there being too much marijuana in Oregon. He had sold all his “clone” plants to other growers, who were using them to cultivate yet more marijuana.

“You start doing the math on that and it just didn’t make sense how people could be growing that many plants,” Willison said.

Fast-forward nearly a year and Oregon does indeed have a glut of marijuana; there are over 1m lb of usable but unsold marijuana, according to the state tracking system.


Oregon grew more cannabis than customers can smoke. Now shops and farmers are left with mountains of unwanted bud

A recent Sunday afternoon at the Bridge City Collective cannabis shop in North Portland saw a steady flow of customers.

Little wonder: A gram of weed was selling for less than the price of a glass of wine.

The $4 and $5 grams enticed Scotty Saunders, a 24-year-old sporting a gray hoodie, to spend $88 picking out new products to try with a friend. "We've definitely seen a huge drop in prices," he says.

Across the wood-and-glass counter, Bridge City owner David Alport was less delighted. He says he's never sold marijuana this cheap before.


'Cannabis strengthened our bond': can pot make you a better parent?

Touting the benefits of ‘being present’, some parents claim marijuana helps with their job – but the facts are uncertain.

An Oregon mother posted a photo last year of herself breastfeeding her baby while she took a bong hit. Naturally, the image went viral.

Amid the expected backlash, some much milder criticism came from Jenn Lauder, an Oregon cannabis activist who co-founded Splimm, a newsletter on pot and parenting, with her husband. Lauder chided the breastfeeder for exposing the baby to smoke and for the “optics” of the image.


Oregon county aims to increase marijuana enforcement

An Oregon county is trying to crack down on illegal marijuana production by hiring two enforcement officers, and to limit new legal grows considering a pause on the processing of applications to produce cannabis.

The move on Wednesday by the Deschutes County Commissioners marks the latest effort by some Oregon counties to control the legal marijuana industry that they say is growing too fast.

Officials in Josephine County, in a prime pot-growing area of southern Oregon, last week sued the state in federal court, asserting state laws that made pot legal are pre-empted by federal law that criminalize it. County commissioners in December tried to ban and restrict pot farming on rural residential lots, but the state Land Use Board of Appeals put the restrictions on hold.


This city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program

In Oregon, a city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program. Here’s how public safety is improving.

Officials in Portland, Oregon have announced that this city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program they recently launched. 

The new safety education campaign, known as Struck, aims to make Portland’s streets safer by getting drivers to slow down.

It is part of a larger effort to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the city dubbed Vision Zero.


The future of cannabis: Where we are heading vs. where we should go

Three major factors are in play for the future of cannabis: technological and scientific advancements, the federal government and social justice efforts.

The cannabis industry is at a crossroads. What was once primarily a social justice movement has transformed into a multi-billion industry, despite the direct conflict with federal law.

But thanks to federal regulations that are science-light and prejudice-heavy, there is still a whole lot we humans don’t know about cannabis and how it works, and a lot of businesses and individuals are trying to fill in the blanks with technology.


Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed

Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed reinforces that the cannabis industry is comprised of law-abiding business owners.

Oregon is getting much stricter on its age restrictions for legal weed. In particular, state authorities have made the penalties for selling to minors much heavier—and dispensaries seem to be responding.

With Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed, state authorities are optimistic that shops are adhering more closely to the state’s age regulations.

Weed Shops Pass the Test


Portland faces a shortage of industrial space as marijuana businesses snap up vacancies

Industrial space has become almost impossible to lease or buy in the greater Portland area, after cash-rich marijuana growers snapped up existing warehouses.

That's helped to force vacancy rates way down and prices way up, just as conventional businesses are ready to expand.

A few years ago Steve Arnold, who owns marinas in Yarmouth and Naples, had his pick of heated warehouses where he could store clients' boats in the winter. Then medical-marijuana growers started to compete for the same spaces. One moved into the 120,000 square foot facility where he was storing close to 200 boats.

That created some new challenges, such as the way the odor of high-quality marijuana can work its way into a boat's upholstery.


Oregon cannabis regulators to soon begin spot inspections

State regulators will soon start doing random inspections of cannabis businesses, starting with retailers, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

More details are forthcoming, said OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger.

Until now, inspections of legal cannabis businesses have largely been complaint-driven, Pettinger said. In December, the agency started checking whether businesses were selling marijuana to minors through "minor decoy" stings.

Although marijuana became legal under Oregon law in July 2015, OLCC did not start issuing retail licenses for recreational marijuana until October 2016.

The OLCC now has a baseline of information in its seed-to-sale Cannabis Tracking System to analyze deviations from the norm and ensure compliance.


A TED talks-styled educational cannabis series is coming to Portland

The cannabis honeymoon is over.

Weed is legal for adult use in nine states and the District of Columbia, and medical programs are available to Americans in 29 states. Meanwhile, according to recent polls by Gallup and The Wall Street Journal/NBC, between 60 and 64 percent of U.S. voters support cannabis legalization.


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