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Oregon Officials Met With Feds to Defend Legal Cannabis

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Officials in states that have legalized cannabis continue to strategize around defending their state’s legal cannabis industries from the feds and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Oregon is no exception. According to a report by Noelle Crombie of the Oregonian, high-level state officials recently met with the U.S. attorney for Oregon to discuss the situation.

According to Crombie’s report, US Attorney Billy Williams requested the meeting with top aides in Gov. Brown’s office late in May. At issue was a draft report by the state police, which concluded that Oregon remained one of the top sources for black market cannabis in the United States.

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Others reportedly at the meeting included Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton, the executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and a representative from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office.

Per Crombie, Williams asked to set the meeting up after reading about the state police analysis in the Oregonian in March. That analysis showed the state remained a top source for black market marijuana.

The complete report has yet to be released by the Oregon State Police.

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Williams told the Oregonian that he’s concerned about the still-functioning black market. One of the main reasons the state’s citizens voted to legalize cannabis was to end illicit sales.

“Overproduction is definitely concerning and the violation of the state and federal law, diverting it to other areas of the country is very concerning and we are looking at it,” Williams said.

Jeffrey Rhoades, the governor’s marijuana policy adviser, led the state’s presentation to Williams. He talked about how the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system for cannabis, as well as security and testing requirements, are all part of Oregon’s efforts to comply with the US Department of Justice’s Cole Memorandum.

Rhoades did have a largely positive take on cannabis legalization in the state, as he brought up that legal cannabis has generated $60.2 million in tax revenue to date and has created more than 12,000 jobs.

For the full report, check out Crombie’s article here for the Oregonian.

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