Following in the steps of Washington and Colorado, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 91 (PDF) on November 4, opening the door to legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Beginning July 1, 2015, the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act allows Oregonians 21 years and older to possess up to eight ounces of dried marijuana and grow up to four plants per household. Each adult can possess up to one ounce of dried marijuana in public, but marijuana may not be consumed in public or while driving. Possession of infused products (such as drinks and lotions) will also be allowed. The Oregonian’s FAQ addressing the measure is a good place to start to get the basics.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) is responsible for drafting and adopting rules to regulate the use, licensing, and sales of recreational marijuana. Four types of marijuana businesses will be allowed under the Act: (1) marijuana producers licensed to grow for wholesale; (2) marijuana processors licensed to produce extracts and products; (3) marijuana wholesalers licensed to purchase weed and weed products to sell to retailers and other non-consumers; and (4) marijuana retailers licensed to sell weed and related items at retail to consumers. The OLCC will begin accepting applications for these four business types on January 4, 2016.
The OLCC issued a statement (PDF) in response to the passage of Ballot Measure 91. OLCC chairman Rob Patridge plans to meet with members of the public across the state to draft rules that reflect “Oregon’s way” to regulate marijuana. The process will involve input from government, schools, law enforcement, growers, and medical marijuana business, and will result in rules that take account of some of the lessons Washington and Colorado have learned since legalization occurred in those jurisdiction. The public can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and can obtain basic information on the new law by calling (503) 872-6366.
Stoel Rives will continue to monitor the development of the new regulatory regime and will post periodic updates on this blog. Please check in regularly and contact us if you have any questions.
For a perspective on what legalization means for Oregon employers, read What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much. on our sister blog, World of Employment.