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Cannabis legalization in Oregon

Oregon was among the earliest states to approve adult-use cannabis legalization by voter initiative. The state’s recreational marketplace officially launched on July 1, 2015, about seven months after voters approved the legalization initiative — at the time, it was the fastest a state had gone from approving legalization to launching its regulated marketplace. Previously, Oregon in 1998 became only the second state to legalize medical cannabis following a successful ballot initiative.

State of the industry

Oregon’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets are currently operating side-by-side. Many of the state’s successful adult-use dispensaries were longtime medical cannabis operations but there remain some medical-only dispensaries. Notably, the industry’s licensing structure was particularly cultivator-friendly at the start which resulted in many years of market oversaturation. State lawmakers have approved legislation to address this by letting cannabis operators export their products to other state-legal markets but the program is on hold until it gets federal approval.

Oregon places a 17% excise tax and 3% local tax on cannabis for a total tax rate of 20%, which — when compared to neighboring cannabis markets — is about half that of Washington and California but about double that of Nevada.

Oregon cannabis possession rules

  • Adults aged 21+ in Oregon can purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower and concentrate products.
  • Purchase/possession for edibles is capped at 16 ounces (72 ounces for infused liquids).
  • Adult Oregonians are allowed to home grow up to four cannabis plants per household and can purchase cannabis seeds and seedlings from licensed retailers.

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Ganjapreneur is an online platform dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, investors, and other professionals operating in and/or adjacent to the cannabis industry. We offer news updates through our daily newsletter, regularly interview leading entrepreneurs, and host a comprehensive cannabis industry business index.

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