Oregon Should Sell Weed to Germany

Dear Governor Brown,

The world is watching as our administration falls deeper into the morass of ‘might makes right.’ As we hear about camps being set up in army barracks and Walmarts, it seems that “law” is an increasingly malleable concept.

I am left wondering, given how little respect the administration has for the laws of humankind, why Oregon continues to respect the ban on international trade of cannabis, and the federal prohibitions about its movement across state lines.

The news of Oregon’s oversupply of cannabis has been told around the world. The economic impact for Oregon is clearly catastrophic, exacerbating a number of other economic issues that, like for many states, continue to persist since federal funds dried up in the last recession. Our public pension debt continues to climb, robbing our local communities of important civic provisions, and infrastructure repair and improvement.

At the same time, we have built the market to be a center for the global medical cannabis trade, but because of Jeff Sessions’ personal bias, the economic opportunity is about to be lost.

While the price per pound in Oregon continues to plummet ($500-$750 average) Germany is currently experiencing shortagesin their cannabis supply, facing increasing demand, and, like many, struggling to get their legal, regulated production up and running. The average cost hovers around $4,000/ lb. If the State of Oregon was to purchase the excess in our market and export to Germany, the benefits would be myriad.

A million pounds of weed with a $2k margin would net the state $2B, which could at least help stay the PERS crisis for a time. With regular exports we could change the trade balance for our state as a whole.

The collection by the state would also afford the OLCC the opportunity to focus on enforcement and testing standardization. The OLCC could manage the purchase and triage compliance violations, reducing their investigative burden and evening the playing field for legal businesses.

Oregon is a natural growing region for the cannabis plant. A number of our agricultural communities have seen revitalization and economic investment as a result of the green rush. The purchase of the excess cannabis would stabilize the industry, allowing more businesses to retain Oregon ownership, instead of selling to deep out-of-state pockets for pennies on the investment.

Canada has recently announced its plans to legalize at a federal level, and firms are already benefiting from access to traditional capital and confidence in future market expansion. A majority of voters across all demographics support the descheduling of the plant, as we find therapeutic benefits for ailments across the spectrum of wellness. It is only a matter of time until a global market exists.

Oregon grows the best cannabis in the world. We are “green” in all the ways that matter. We have the opportunity to take bold action, and for the state as a whole to benefit. I urge our leaders to consider the option.