Oregon Marijuana Laws
On November 4, 2014, Oregon’s Measure 91 (also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act) passed by popular vote 57% to 43%, thereby legalizing recreational marijuana for people aged 21 and older in the State of Oregon. Measure 91 provides that adults age 21 and over can legally possess up to eight (8) ounces of marijuana and grow up to four (4) plants in their households. These amounts are total limits for the household. The law provides that each adult can possess up to one (1) ounce of marijuana in public. Individuals 21 and older may also gift — but not sell – up to one (1) ounce of marijuana, sixteen (16) ounces of marijuana products in solid form, or seventy-two (72) ounces of marijuana products in liquid form to other adults. The purchase limit will be one (1) ounce, or the amount set by the liquor commission, whichever is lower. Marijuana may not be consumed in public or while driving.
Measure 91 authorizes in-state manufacture, processing and the sale of marijuana to adults and tasks the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) with regulating sales of marijuana through licensing and taxation. It does not amend or affect the existing Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Four (4) types of marijuana businesses will be permitted and regulated by the OLCC. “Marijuana producers” will cultivate marijuana for wholesale. “Marijuana processors” will produce marijuana extracts and products. “Marijuana wholesalers” may purchase marijuana and marijuana products to sell to marijuana retailers and other nonconsumers. “Marijuana retailers” are allowed to sell marijuana and related items to individuals 21 and older.
On December 4, 2014 the election results will be certified. At this time, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission can begin rulemaking. On July 1, 2015, possession and home cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older becomes legal. Until that time, the state’s decriminalization laws still apply. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will start accepting applications for marijuana businesses on January 4, 2016. Application fees shall be $250, and licensing fees are $1,000 per year. The OLCC will have discretion to determine how many licenses to accept in a locality and will have the authority to refuse a license if they deem it is “not demanded by public interest or convenience.” Applicants may be disqualified for a host of reasons, including but not limited to, lacking good moral character, lacking sufficient financial resources, a history of past convictions or use of drugs, marijuana or alcohol “to excess.” Similar to other states that have legalized marijuana, Measure 91 permits local governments to enact reasonable ordinances and regulations that govern when, where and in what manner marijuana businesses may operate. In addition, municipal governments have the authority to completely ban marijuana businesses should the voters in that locality elect to do so via ballot initiative during a statewide general election.