A bill aimed at limiting Oregon’s supply of cannabis advanced out of the state Senate and will now go before the House for consideration. On Monday, Senate lawmakers voted 18-10 in favor of a temporary freeze on cannabis production. The freeze would hold marijuana production at its current level for the next two years. The bill would also suspend the issuance of any new cultivation licenses. Currently licensed growers, however, will be able to renew their licenses during the temporary freeze period.
Why is Oregon Freezing Cannabis Production?
Medical marijuana has been legal in Oregon since 1998. And in 2014, voters approved the legalization of cannabis for adult use. Since establishing a regulated retail industry for THC products, cultivation operations have exploded across the state, with growers taking advantage of Oregon’s ideal climate to produce massive quantities of high-quality flower.
Before long, Oregon’s wholesale cannabis market was absolutely saturated with product. And the large surplus of cannabis began to pose a number of problems for regulators, lawmakers and the industry itself. Growing more cannabis than the state’s retail market could possibly handle, Oregon had to ask where all that surplus cannabis was ending up.
Some suggested producers, motivated by profit,