Oregon lawmakers have taken steps to protect customers of the state’s legal cannabis industry from exposing their identities and personal information to the federal government. Anticipating interference by federal drug agents under the Trump administration’s plan to crack down on cannabis, a bipartisan group of lawmakers approved a bill to abolish a common business practice in which cannabis customers’ names, birth dates, addresses, and other personal information is kept in a database.
When a customer makes a purchase at a cannabis store in Oregon, they must show a driver’s license, passport or other form of ID to prove they are over the age of 21. Many businesses collect customer information for marketing purposes or to assist returning customers. However, in the event of a government crackdown, this private information — which includes names, birth dates, identification numbers, and addresses — could be seized by drug agents. Senate Bill 863, which governor Kate Brown has signed into law, requires cannabis businesses to destroy existing customer information, and bans them from collecting it without permission.
“Given the immediate privacy issues … this is a good bill protecting the privacy of Oregonians choosing to purchase marijuana,” said state Rep. Carl Wilson, a Republican who helped sponsor the bill.
Recreational cannabis is now legal for recreational use in eight states plus Washington, D.C., and is legal for medical use in 29 states.
The Trump administration has sent mixed signals about marijuana. On the campaign trail, Trump said he supports medical marijuana. However, in office, all signs point to a coming crackdown on legal marijuana — possibly including medical cannabis — as part of a renewed and more aggressive war on drugs.
Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions, an outspoken marijuana opponent, said he may increase enforcement of federal drug laws, and may not exempt medical cannabis. Sessions created a task force to examine how the Justice Department enforces cannabis laws and