Mercury Staff
Earlier this year, a state bill to limit new recreational cannabis licenses was defeated, with an argument coming from Republicans that the cannabis industry should be dealt with by the free market like any other commodity. A new bill could change that.

Per KTVZ, a Central Oregon NBC affiliate, Senate Bill 218 came at the request of the governor's office, and has passed the Oregon Senate 18-0. It now goes before the House. The bill will place a two-year moratorium on any new cannabis grow licenses issued, in an effort to deal with Oregon's enormous cannabis surplus.

Existing growers may continue to renew their existing licenses during that time, or apply for a new license if there is a change in ownership or grow site location. It's billed as an "emergency" piece of legislation, because the grow licenses were threatening to organize, rise up, and kill their owners.

No, not really. Oregon Senate Democrats issued a press release which explained that this was being done to help stabilize prices and, of course, deal with unwanted diversion to the illegal market. Per the statement:

“We currently have a flood of cannabis production happening in our state,” Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) said. “There is a ‘green rush’ happening in our state right now and, while we support a healthy and thriving new cannabis industry, the oversupply has caused plummeting product costs. Much of the product created by this oversupply is going into the illicit market that legalized cannabis was intended to curb. This bill will protect the existing legal market.”