Oregon Senate Approves Funds To Address Oregon’s ‘Unlawful Marijuana Market’

Monday, Mar 5, 2018

Oregon has been facing scrutiny from members of the federal administration for illegal marijuana market activity. Today, the Oregon Senate took another step forward in addressing those issues.

Senate Bill 1544 – which passed the Senate on a 26-3 vote today – establishes the Illegal Marijuana Market Enforcement Grant Program within the Criminal Justice Commission. The grant program will assist local governments with costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies in addressing unlawful marijuana cultivation and distribution.

“The best way to protect our lawful businesses from federal intervention is to have a secure, closed loop system. Unlawful producers and distributors are creating difficulties by acting outside of our regulated market.” Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, said. “The Illegal Marijuana Market Enforcement Grant Program will help local law enforcement prevent unlawful cultivation and distribution in their communities, which is an important step toward solving this issue.”

The grant program will offer $1.5 million per year over 6 years to help local law enforcement address illegal market activity. The Legislature has taken other steps, such as seed-to-sale tracking systems, to help prevent the migration of legal product into the black market.