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Oregon Lawmakers Push To Legalize Marijuana At Federal Level

Thomas Hawk

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

Senate Bill 420 (yes, that’s right) would also regulate and tax cannabis.  The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act is part of a larger package that aims to revise taxes for small businesses that sell cannabis, and also ensure banking for legal operations.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

This all sits well with Joseph Hughes, of Eugene OG, a local cannabis store. However, he says he’s also concerned over potential monopolies emerging in the market.

Credit Eugene OG Facebook Page

“What I’d be most worried about is in the future," begins Hughes. "Larger companies purchasing licenses from smaller companies and just pretty much having an ownership over the market, making it much harder for small license holders to make a profit.”

Hughes says current federal prohibitions have kept lots of product within state borders, causing a hefty cannabis surplus that’s driving down prices.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House by Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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