Oregon, overflowing with weed, is freezing marijuana production

Oregon, overflowing with weed, is freezing marijuana production

No new grow licenses for two years

CultureMay 03, 2019 By Reilly Capps

The Oregon weed boom is halting.

Oregon has been blessed with tons of extra weed. Growers harvested three times as much pot as Oregonians used last year. Now, the state is sitting on a million extra pounds. You can barely give it away. An eighth of an ounce in Portland, which cost $40 or $50 during prohibition, sometimes sells for $6.

And so the state senate just voted to freeze the state's supply, the Associated Press reported. If the state house agrees, no new grows will be licensed for the next two years. And production will remain steady — current growers can renew their licenses.

Oregon's climate is heaven for weed. During prohibition, huge pockets flourished in secret, tucked among the redwoods, and was smuggled East.

Since legalization in 2014, Oregon has been handing out grow licenses as freely as mailmen hand out mail, with no fixed limit on the number of grows — more than California or Colorado or any other state. From the highways in southern Oregon, huge fields of cannabis roll by, almost like the cornfields of Iowa.

A lot of this legal weed illegally leaks across the border. Federal law enforcement said Oregon weed has showed up in 30 different states. So the feds were hinting they might swoop in and crack down on the legal grows.

photo - Oregon weed dispensary

[A pot shop in Springfield, Oregon. By Joshua Rainey / Shutterstock. Cover photo of an Oregon cannabis field from Shutterstock.]

So Oregon politicians were scrambling to placate Johnny Law, and figure out what to do with their overgrown pot field and their mountains of ganja.

Oregon's U.S. Senators and congress members are urging the federal government to legalize pot nationwide, and let the weed flow to other states and other countries.

Sea-to-sea legalization seems likely in the next two to four years, especially if Democrats control more of Washington, D.C. — and probably even if they don't. After that, Oregon and Northern California could become the world's weed baskets, satisfying the worldwide demand for cannabis — and nobody knows how big that could grow.