Measure 91, passed in November of 2014, legalized the adult use of cannabis in Oregon. As of July 1st this year, adults over the age of 21 are allowed to consume cannabis in a private residence, grow up to 4 plants per household, and possess 8 ounces of usable marijuana in a private residence, or 1 ounce in public. Full retail sales will not begin until sometime in 2016, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has finalized the rules and regulations, but Legislation passed in July of this year gives nearly 350 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries the option of participating in the recreational market starting October 1st. This means that anyone with a government issued ID over the age of 21 will be allowed to buy up to 7 grams of flower or dried leaf per day, 4 plants, or an unlimited amount of seeds. Cannabis infused edibles, topicals, and concentrates will not be included in the early sales, and will only be available to medical marijuana patients until sometime in 2016, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) finalizes the rules for dosing and testing those items. These early sales will be handled by the Oregon Health Authority, the regulatory board which oversees existing medical dispensaries, and will not be subject to an Oregon sales tax until January 4th, 2016, when a 25 percent tax will come into effect.

This means that anyone with a government issued ID over the age of 21 will be allowed to buy up to 7 grams of flower or dried leaf per day, 4 plants, or an unlimited amount of seeds. Cannabis infused edibles, topicals, and concentrates will not be included in the early sales, and will only be available to medical marijuana patients until sometime in 2016, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) finalizes the rules for dosing and testing those items. These early sales will be handled by the Oregon Health Authority, the regulatory board which oversees existing medical dispensaries, and will not be subject to an Oregon sales tax until January 4th, 2016, when a 25 percent tax will come into effect.

Oregon has begun retail sales more quickly than any of the other three states that have legalized recreational sales of cannabis, and some dispensaries have argued that these early sales will be a lifeline for them in the saturated market that presently exists. Legislators have also expressed hope that early sales will discourage legal recreational users from turning to the black market to find their cannabis, in lieu of other options. Cities and counties have the ability to place a moratorium on cannabis related businesses, and as of September 23, there are 25+ localities that have blocked growing, processing and/or sales of recreational marijuana. Localities that opt out of recreational sales will not reap the benefits of tax money coming in from the cannabis industry, but areas that choose to opt into the recreational market in the future will then receive that income.

Dispensaries are required to document the purchaser’s birthdate, the sale price, the date, the amount of marijuana purchased, and whether it was flower, plants, or seeds. They are not required to record the name of the purchaser. Public consumption is still not allowed, so once cannabis is acquired, users must head to a private residence. Possession of amounts exceeding the legal limits are still punishable by law, and anything more than 8 ounces, but not more than 16 ounces is a class B violation, while possession of 16 to 32 ounces is a class B misdemeanor. Possession of more than 32 ounces of flower is a class A misdemeanor. Transporting cannabis across state lines is also still illegal, and anyone leaving the state is under the jurisdiction of local and federal laws. However, officials from the Port of Portland have released a statement saying that anyone flying inside the state of Oregon with amounts of cannabis under the legal limit will be allowed to carry it with them. Anyone caught with amounts over the legal limit, or anyone trying to carry marijuana over state lines will be subject to prosecution. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, and many large employers in the state have declared their intent to continue testing employees for cannabis.

Possession of more than 32 ounces of the flower is a class A misdemeanor. Transporting cannabis across state lines is also still illegal, and anyone leaving the state is under the jurisdiction of local and federal laws. However, officials from the Port of Portland have released a statement saying that anyone flying inside the state of Oregon with amounts of cannabis under the legal limit will be allowed to carry it with them. Anyone caught with amounts over the legal limit, or anyone trying to carry marijuana over state lines will be subject to prosecution. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, and many large employers in the state have declared their intent to continue testing employees for cannabis.

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