Oregon Governor Hosts Cannabis Advocates at Marijuana Bills Signing Ceremony


While the 2015 Oregon legislative session wasn’t perfect for the Oregon cannabis community, as usual, it was two steps forward and one step back, it is a sign that the marijuana movement is progressing well when the Oregon governor hosts cannabis advocates at marijuana bills signing ceremony. Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 844, Senate Joint Memorial 12, House Bill 2041 and Senate Bill 460 with key legislators, lobbyists and activists. It was an honor to join the group for the historic signing ceremony.

Senate Bill 844 allowed for youth expungement of marijuana offenses, added protections for medical patients seeking medical treatment such as transplants and established a medical marijuana task force. Senate Joint Memorial 12 calls upon Congress to make necessary changes at the federal level to allow the effective implementation of state marijuana laws. House Bill 2041 moved the tax from the grower level, as mandated under Measure 91, to the retail level. Senate Bill 460, the so-called “Early Start” or “About Time” bill, allowed existing medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling up to 7 grams of cannabis flower to adults starting on October 1st, about a year ahead of when we can expect Oregon Liquor Control Commission-regulated retail outlets to start selling a wide variety of cannabis products, along with flower, to adults.

There is still more work to be done on marijuana policy at the Oregon Legislature, including reducing marijuana penalties to be completely in-line with our alcohol laws and ensuring that sick and disabled patients have access to medicine, but today can be a day of celebration for how far we have come. Oregon advocates should be commended for helping craft cannabis laws that create jobs, better prioritize law enforcement resources and can be the model for the rest of the country.

Special thanks to Studio McDermott for the featured photo.


Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.