Jackson & Josephine counties hot spots for illegal cannabis exports
A recent report by the state of Oregon found illegal cannabis exports to still be a major problem.
Jackson and Jospehine Counties were identified as two of the counties from which cannabis is illegally exported the most, along with Lane, Deschutes, Multnomah, and Washington counties.
Medford Police are all too familiar with the issue of illegal exports, and have a program designated to tracking down those exports, primarily by intercepting packages in the mail. However, those illegal exports can also travel by other means across state borders that are more difficult to scan for.
As cannabis laws become more relaxed, it has in some ways made enforcement more difficult. "We know there are a lot of grows out there. There are a lot of mostly legal grows, but unfortunately, not all of those legal grows are selling their marijuana legally," says Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.
That means a farm can appear law abiding in terms of plant numbers and upkeep, but then sell the product out of state without law enforcement knowing.
With the local market being saturated, and out of state prices being higher, it's become a major issue, and there's only so much police can do with limited staffing and widespread cannabis growing.
Budreau also adds that illegal exports have broader impacts, like black market sales undercutting local, law abiding dispensaries.