Politics 

The latest in cannabis legalization including laws and policies, legislators’ views, election coverage, and more.

Oregon’s Recreational Cannabis Sales Are Coming Sooner Than You Think

In a landmark move guaranteed to bring a sigh of relief to Oregon cannabis consumers anxiously awaiting recreational implementation, Governor Kate Brown just signed a bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to begin limited cannabis sales to adult consumers starting October 1st.

Senate Bill 460 will allow consumers over the age of 21 to legally purchase up to a quarter ounce of cannabis per day at dispensaries, as well as seeds and up to four immature plants. Sales will exclude all extracts and edibles that will still be available for medical patients.

Not only will sales be starting early, but under the temporary sales program, there will be no tax on any products until January 4th, 2016, at which point the standard 25% excise tax will kick in.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is tasked with regulating and monitoring the industry and will be issuing licenses to upcoming retail cannabis outlets sometime in mid-to-late 2016. Many medical dispensaries are anxious to open the recreational market due to Oregon’s oversaturated medical program. Advocates have also been pushing for sales to start in an attempt to undercut the black market and create an economic lifeline for the 200+ dispensaries already operating.

Representative Andy Olson (R-Albany) explained the reasoning for the decision, saying:

“We incentivize the black market [if] we leave this unaddressed….we are giving recreational users another reason to stop going to the black market.”

Although the possession of recreational cannabis became legal on July 1st, the only legal way for consumers to access it is by growing at home. With the implementation of Senate Bill 460 and the early sales starting in October, this will be the quickest start to retail cannabis sales of any of the states that have legalized yet.