Oregon’s Pot Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Ever since Oregon voters decided to pass Measure 91 – the landmark decision to legalize recreational marijuana – back in November, everyone is speculating about the outcome. Distributors, investors, lawmakers, and most importantly, consumers, are all preparing for Oregon’s upcoming “green” revolution. Here’s everything you need to know:

When will it go into affect?

On July 1, 2015, but you can wait until 4:20 pm if you like.

How much are you allowed to have?

Oregonians over the age of 21 will be allowed to acquire up to eight ounces of weed and up to four plants (though the plants must not be visible to the public eye).

Who regulates it?

The OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) has the power to tax, license and regulate any cannabis that is grown, sold, or administered for commercial use. However, the OLCC doesn’t have the authority to control marijuana on a personal level according to Oregon.gov.

When will the state start accepting applications for growers, wholesalers, processors and retail outlets?

Not until January 4, 2016. If you plan on being involved, save some cash for the necessary payments – the application is $250, and licensing fees are $1,000 per year.

When can I start buying recreational weed in stores?

Unfortunately, vendors are not expected to begin selling until the fall of 2016; but with all the red tape, it could take much longer.

How will cannabis sales be taxed?

Cannabis flowers will be taxed at $35 per ounce; cannabis leaves will be taxed at $10 per ounce; and immature cannabis plants will be taxed at $5 per plant.

What will the marijuana tax money go towards?

– 40% will go to the Common School Fund, which is distributed to every K-12 school district. For example: Eugene, Bend, and Medford schools will be able to fund 19, 16, and 13.5 full-time teaching jobs, correspondingly.
– 20% goes to the Mental Health Alcoholism and Drug Services Account.
– 15% goes to the State Police Account.
– 20% goes to local law enforcement in proportion to however many licenses are held by each city.
– 5% goes to the Oregon Health Authority for substance abuse programs.

Your tax dollars at work!

Can Measure 91 be modified?

Yes. Because the new law is statutory one instead of constitutional, the Oregon Legislature can alter any of its provisions. Though, the measure cannot be modified by the OLCC’s rule making process.

Can certain cities reject the new law?

Yes. A district may downright ban marijuana businesses if the citizens vote to do so via ballot during a statewide election. If you live in a conservative municipality, expect to fight for your right to recreational pot.

How will measure 91 affect the Oregon economy?

Only time can tell, but judging by how popular recreational marijuana has been for Colorado, it has the potential to be huge. Oregon is expected to benefit from increased tourism, surplus tax revenue, budding businesses and more employment opportunities. According to experts, medical marijuana is projected to be the fastest growing industry in the United States, making $2.7 billion in 2014. So you better invest in weed before it’s too late.

Where can I get some paraphernalia to um…”prepare” for July 1?

Herb Stomp, one of Portland’s premier herb and smoke shops, provide a wide variety of quality products. They will be hosting a special on July 1st: 15 percent discount on all glass.

Portland’s NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), a marijuana activism group, will host a celebration event on the west side of the Burnside Bridge at midnight July 1st. The event will include cannabis seed giveaways and small amounts of marijuana to consumers over 21. Get there around 11:30 p.m. this Tuesday to ensure you know where the celebration is, since organizer Russ Belville said it will take place out of public view.

On Friday, July 3rd, an event called Weed the People – created by Joshua Jardine Taylor, writer of the Portland Mercury’s weekly column, Cannabuzz, and owner of Oregon’s Cannabis Concierge – for those 21 and older, is giving up to seven grams of free samples from growers to attendees. The event is sponsored by local cannabis oil distributor, The Co2 Company, and will offer 30 vendors of various products. Tickets cost $40, and the party will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. at Metal Craft Fabrication, 723 N. Tillamook.


Do you plan on buying recreational marijuana at a store? How do you plan on taking advantage of the new law?

Additional images:  Marijuana Politics



Zara Zhi
Zara Zhi
Zara is a freelance writer and filmmaker who has worked for numerous magazines and news sites. When not coming up with puns or writing screenplays, she enjoys having blind children read to her and donating plasma TVs. Follow her on Twitter: @zarazhi