Marijuana producers in Oregon hope to begin exports soon after the state’s legislature passed SB 582 and sent it to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk.
The bill would permit cannabis companies to sell to interstate and export internationally to meet surging demand in the U.S. and worldwide. The caveat is that the federal government must allow such transfers via stature or indicate tolerance in a policy directive or memo from the Department of Justice.
It passed through the Oregon Senate last month in a 19-9 vote, and the House approved it 43-6 with bipartisan support this month. Brown has already indicated support for the measure and she is likely to sign it.
Kaya Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:KAYS), a Portland-based retailer and producer, is among the firms to hail the passing of the bill. “We originally went to Oregon because it is known as the cannabis basket of America, producing the highest quality, largest yields and broadest variety of innovative cannabis products the U.S. has to offer,” said chief executive Craig Frank. “Oregon is the obvious choice to best serve the U.S. market, especially if recreational use is legalized federally.”
Earlier this year, a study from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission showed that the state has more than six years’ worth of marijuana oversupply sitting in facilities gathering dust. At the same time, countries like Canada have been blighted by a chronic lack of supply, but Oregon has been unable to meet that demand as producers are banned from selling outside of state lines.
That could all change if and when SB 582 is signed into law and exports are permitted. In anticipation of the new opportunities it will bring, Kaya is planning an expansion at its site. It wants to increase capacity to 100,000 pounds (45,359 kg) on an annualized basis.
When the U.S. permits the transfer of cannabis, it wants to be poised to capitalize. It said it may seek to raise up to $15 million to fund expansion of its Oregon operations, while also launching franchise sales in Canada.
Trade group Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association called SB 582 “a really smart public policy”, while the Craft Cannabis Alliance also welcomed the move.