New Oregon bill would protect cannabis consumer rights

Bend pot shop supports move

Bill would protect cannabis consumer...

BEND, Ore. - If Gov. Kate Brown signs Senate Bill 863 into law, Oregon marijuana stores will have one month to destroy customer data and be banned from keeping records on customer names or birthdates in the future.

Several Bend stores said the bill would speed up their rate of doing business -- after all, it does take a little time entering info for every customer.

One manager said Tuesday it also helps to remove some of the stigma of buying marijuana, and compared it to buying another drug.

"When you go to the liquor store or the Newport Market, do you have to do much more than just show them your birthdate if you look under 21?" Bloom Well Manager Melissa Johnson asked.

The point being: Your information isn't recorded for buying alcohol, so if recreational marijuana is legal, why record it then?

Before this bill, what were the chances the information you gave to pot shops was compromised? The local shops pointed out that if the government wanted to go after the cannabis industry, the consumer would be the last party they'd target.

"If the federal government wanted to, say, go after the cannabis industry, they're not going to go after the cannabis consumer," Johnson said. "They're more going to go after the OLCC and the supply chain."

While the bill is a step toward reducing the stigma of buying and smoking marijuana, not everyone thinks we've reached the end of the road.

"I even had a police officer ask me if I smoke marijuana, and I found it to be a little offensive," Bend resident Joseph Keeton said. "Because, did they ask me if I drank beer? Or Corona? Or Miller Lite? No."

The bill still needs Gov. Brown's signature. It would bring Oregon in line with the other three states with legalized recreational marijuana. Washington, Alaska and Colorado do not collect customer information.

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