OR lawmakers aim to pre-empt any marijuana crackdown by feds

Oregon state legislators are trying to head the federal government off at the pass.

To keep the federal government from potentially seizing cannabis consumers’ personal data, a bipartisan committee of Oregon lawmakers proposed legislation that would require marijuana businesses to destroy customer information within 48 hours after receiving it.

The measure will receive its first hearing Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The full legislature must approve the bill before it can be signed into law by Oregon’s Democratic governor.

The Oregon lawmakers are trying to be proactive after recent anti-recreational marijuana comments by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Cannabis businesses in Oregon typically gather information from customers such as names, addresses and birthdays for recordkeeping and marketing purposes, like birthday discounts.

Some retailers even record driver’s license numbers so they can track each marijuana product a customer buys and when. Store owners say such information helps staff find an item more easily, according to AP.

Cannabis stores also are required to check IDs to ensure customers are at least 21 years old.

“I think we as legislators have a duty to protect our citizens,” said Democratic state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, one of the bill’s sponsors and a prosecuting attorney.

Stores in Colorado and Alaska are not allowed to collect personal information, the Associated Press reported. Washington state retailers are permitted collect personal information, but the practice is discouraged.