REMARKS AS PREPARED
Oregon Cannabis Association
June 8, 2017
Thank you, Amy for the introduction. I am so pleased to be here.
Thanks to the innovation of many of the people here this evening, cannabis has become an important source of good-paying jobs for Oregonians. Entrepreneurs have brought a wealth of talent and new ideas, and those ideas are helping this industry flourish. Just to give you an idea— the OLCC has already issued thirteen thousand work permits for cannabis to date.
The economic impact of cannabis can be felt across our state, particularly in our rural communities. The recreational cannabis market provides meaningful employment to rural Oregonians and their communities, where job growth is so critically important.
As the industry continues to blossom, I am proud that Oregon is poised to become both a nationwide and worldwide leader. While we can’t export our cannabis to other states, we can export our expertise. By helping other states and countries like Canada set up recreational markets, Oregon is playing a pivotal role in the future of cannabis.
While we continue this important leadership, we must also build on the smart policies that protect Oregon’s cannabis markets from federal interference.
This session, I signed two critical pieces of legislation to ensure the privacy and safety of those in the cannabis industry. We must protect customer information from getting into the wrong hands, and we must track marijuana smartly to help eliminate the black market, legitimize our system, and level the playing field.
Recently, my staff went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to make the case for Oregon’s regulated marijuana markets. And along with the Governors of Alaska, Colorado and Washington, I wrote a letter to Jeff Sessions asking to keep the Cole Memorandum in place.
But our work is not done yet. My staff and I will continue to promote safe and prudent cannabis policies that will help this industry grow. Now, my senior policy advisor Jeff Rhoades will share a few words. Thank you.