The Oregon House of Representatives today approved by a 48-11 vote a bill that would lift residency requirements for cannabis businesses. House Bill 4014, which was introduced by the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization, will move next to the Senate floor.
“Federal laws make it impossible for Oregon’s licensed and legal cannabis businesses to get bank loans and other traditional forms of financing,” said Representative Ann Lininger, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization and carried the bill in the House with Representative Carl Wilson. “Removing the residency requirements, which are never a real barrier for larger investors, gives Oregon’s small businesses access to the support many need in order to compete and thrive.”
Meghan Walstatter is a longtime Oregon resident and owner of Pure Green, a licensed dispensary in Portland. “As a small business owner in Oregon, a state with resources opportunities for raising funds, I want the same opportunities that any other business owner has to seek investors,” she said. “I’m thankful for Representative Lininger and Senator Burdick’s leadership on this bill and for the support of the lawmakers who voted in favor of it.”
The Oregon Cannabis Association has made repealing residency requirements a priority for this legislative session because the requirements have the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for Oregon businesses, especially small businesses and businesses owned by women and people of color, to attract needed investment.
“This bill is an important step in ensuring a level playing field for Oregon businesses,” said Amy Margolis, of the Oregon Cannabis Association. “Our members appreciate the Legislature’s efforts to support a strong and diverse cannabis business community in our state.”
HB 4014 also directs the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to develop a program to support small businesses, funds a pilot program to prevent cannabis use among youth, aligns public safety policies for cannabis with regulations on alcohol use, and makes a number of technical fixes.