Things Oregonians Should Know Before October 1st

Last November Oregon voters approved Measure 91, legalizing the sale and use of recreational marijuana. But rolling out such an initiative to the public takes time and bureaucracy — so legal recreational marijuana isn’t going to go up for sale in retail outlets right away.

So what does Measure 91 mean for Oregonians and visitors to Oregon? We’ve assembled a quick overview of everything you need to know about legal, recreational marijuana in Oregon so you can get high safely and legally.

The basics

To legally consume marijuana in Oregon, you must be 21 years old or older.

Like other controlled substances, Measure 91 has placed some restrictions on the use of marijuana. Smoking or eating cannabis in public is prohibited by the measure. Examples of public places include:

– Public streets
– Restaurant and bar patios
– Parks and playgrounds
– Common use areas in apartment buildings and hotels (like hallways and lobbies)
– Essentially, anywhere someone not inside your house can see you

Measure 91 also prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana. Like those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, violators will receive a DUI.

Where can you buy legal marijuana in Oregon?

Although the goal is to eventually make marijuana available through retail stores, the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) doesn’t begin accepting applications for growers, wholesalers, processors and retail outlets until January 4, 2016.

What does this mean for you?

Due to the delay in licensing, retail outlets likely won’t open until mid-2016. But beginning October 1, 2015, you’ll still be able to buy legal, recreational weed from licensed medical dispensaries.

What can you buy, and how much?

Starting on October 1, you’ll be able to buy up to one quarter of an ounce of marijuana flower from existing medical marijuana dispensaries, until retail outlets open and begin selling products sometime next year.

In the meantime, it is now also legal to give away cannabis, so anyone with a medical marijuana card can share buds, seeds, and plants at will to those over 21.

Currently, edibles are not yet available for legal purchase, but will become available through retail stores in 2016. Until then, you’ll have to just make your own marijuana edibles, or share with others.

Concentrates and extracts also will not be available until retail locations open in 2016.

How much can you have?

A few provisions of Measure 91 already went into effect on July 1, 2015. In Oregon, the following are all now legal:

– Possessing up to eight ounces of usable marijuana in your home.
– Carrying up to one ounce on your person.
– Smoking or consuming marijuana on private property or in your home.

Additionally, Oregonians are now allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants on their own property, as long as they are not visible from outside their home.

How much will it cost?

Pot won’t be taxed until January 4, 2016, so until then, you’ll avoid up to a 25% sales tax on your marijuana purchases. Measure 91 originally stipulated a flat tax on marijuana harvests, but the Oregon legislature determined sales tax was easier to levy, and protected the tax-free sale of medical marijuana.

Benefits to the medical marijuana industry

Measure 91 also comes outfitted with some benefits to those using medical marijuana. Now healthcare providers caring for people with a “debilitating medical condition” may provide medical marijuana patients with their medication, where they had previously been restricted. In addition, hospitals can no longer deny patients transplants solely because they use medical marijuana.

And remember, it’s already legal to use the marijuana you have now, as long as you don’t sell it or buy it. So stay safe until October 1st!

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation

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