Cannabis in America

The Trump Effect?: Oregon Lawmakers Push to Protect Pot Privacy

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The marijuana industry and the Trump Administration seem to be locked in a battle of chicken. Known Russian affiliate Attorney General Jeff Sessions and active Venmo user Press Secretary Sean Spicer have drawn battle lines, but we’ve been waiting to see who will make the first move. Until now.

In an attempt to circumvent the inevitable nationwide crackdown on legal marijuana, a group of bipartisan Oregon lawmakers are leading the charge with direct state actions.

According to CBS News, the committee responsible for crafting Oregon’s pot policies has proposed legislation that requires marijuana businesses to destroy customers’ personal information (such as names, addresses and birth dates, gathered for marketing purposes) within 48 hours.


The measure is scheduled for its first hearing Tuesday. Before it can take effect, it must first pass the full legislature, before finally being approved by the state’s governor, who has vowed to protect Oregon’s pot market.

“I could see where the federal government would come in and try to gather this information from businesses that have stockpiled it and retained it in their records,” said Democratic State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a bill sponsor who is also a prosecutor. “I think we as legislators have a duty to protect our citizens.”

Even though marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. However, only four of those states have established legal dispensaries. These shops are required to check the driver’s licenses of customers to verify they are at least 21. But some take it a step further, logging driver’s license numbers, birthdays, addresses, and other personal information into their systems.

“The reason we keep that information is to reach out to them–it’s marketing, just like any retailer,” said Donald Morse, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council.

Lawmakers fear that this same information could one day be used by the feds to build legal cases against individuals who have purchased marijuana, albeit legally. While the Justice Department doesn’t typically go after individuals, this could be a serious violation of privacy.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at



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