Lawmakers in Oregon have sent a clear message to federal agencies: We will protect our voter-mandated state marijuana laws and the customer data we collect is none of your business.
In a bipartisan 53-5 vote, the Oregon House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill that outlaws marijuana retailers from storing customer data for more than 48 hours. Typical information collected from consumers include name, age and home address.
The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Kate Brown, who supports the state’s nascent cannabis industry.
Oregon lawmakers — and consumers — feared federal overreach as the current administration has sent mixed signals as to its approach to states with laws legalizing cannabis sales. Oregon is one of eight states that allow adult recreational use of marijuana and 29 states have established legal medical marijuana programs, but it remains illegal under federal law.
“I personally am very concerned that we give as much protection to Oregon citizens to ensure that their personal identification information is not somehow compromised,” said Senator Floyd Prozanski.
Oregon’s law would put it in line with Alaska, Colorado and Washington, states that have also mandated the information collected by consumers be protected from the federal government.
President Donald J. Trump has not clarified his administration’s position on marijuana, but members of his inner circle — including Attorney General Jeff Session and White House spokesman Sean Spicer — have floated trial balloons suggesting that a crackdown on recreational cannabis is a real possibility.
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“Given the immediate privacy issues … this is a good bill protecting the privacy of Oregonians choosing to purchase marijuana,” state Rep. Carl Wilson said. Wilson, who was one of the bill’s sponsors, is a Republican.
Last week, four governors of states with legal recreational marijuana — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — sent letters to Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requesting clarity from the federal government. Sessions is on record saying that the Department of Justice will conduct a “crime-reduction policy review,” which will include a statement on cannabis. The review is scheduled to conclude sometime this summer.