PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Thirty days. One month. That’s all that’s left before Oregon becomes the 4th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
When voters passed Measure 91 last November, it set into motion a two-tiered process for pot legalization. On July 1, possession will be legal. On January 4, 2016, retail sales applications will be taken, with retail sales sometime later in the year.
There is still a lot that can and will change about how the marijuana industry is run in Oregon. Lawmakers are still working on how the government will regulate it.
But in 30 days, recreational pot rolls into the legal world — with certain restrictions — all of which voters approved last November.
“If the legislature makes changes in Measure 91 in the next month or six weeks, we’ll make adjustments accordingly,” said Tom Towslee of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. “But we need to move ahead with the measure as is.”
On July 1, Oregonians can grow up to 4 plants at home, possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and be allowed to carry up to an ounce away from home.
Sales still aren’t legal — even between friends — and consumption must happen at home.
“You cannot use it in public and so people should not be thinking they can walk down the street consuming marijuana openly or you’ll be in violation of the law,” said State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, who sits on the Measure 91 committee.
Prozanski said lawmakers are looking for ways to possibly move the existing medical marijuana supply into the recreational market long before the OLCC-controlled program is up and running next year.
“Maybe we just want to capture that market that would be going to the black market and get it into a regulated sell process through the dispensaries, if the dispensaries want to enter into that market,” he said.
An OLCC subcommitte on growers is working on ideas to present to the rules commission.
“What we really are encouraging people to do,” Towslee said, “is to be smart, responsible, know the law and just do the right thing.”