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State Regulations

The Legal Status of Cannabis in Oregon

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Cannabis is legal for both recreational and medical use in the state of Oregon. The state of Oregon was the first to decriminalize cannabis in 1973.

In November 1998, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was passed Ballot Measure 67, which was a citizens' initiative. This measure modified state law allowing for cultivation, possession, as well as the use of cannabis by patients who have a prescription due to certain medical conditions. This ballot measure celebrated a 54.6% to 45.4% margin.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Oregon include:

  • Cancer
  • Pervasive or degenerative neurological disorder
  • Glaucoma
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Medical conditions or treatments which produce any one of the below listed:
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Persistent muscle spasms which include but are not limited to spasms that may be caused by MS (multiple sclerosis)
  • Seizures, including those triggered by epilepsy
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea

There have been a number of reforms since then which have seen the limit for individual possession going up to 2 oz. (57 g) from 1 oz. Each household with adults above 21 years is permitted to grow four plants with more if one has a commercial license. This is also one of the first states to impose a sales tax which was signed by Governor Brown at 25%.

Measure 91 legalizing the cultivation and use of non-medical marijuana was approved in 2014. This was following perennial attempts for legalization through ballot initiative which included two ballots that were rejected by voters in 1986 and 2012.

Previously, The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act had qualified for the state ballot in November 2012, with a petition of 88,887 signatures of voters. Had it been approved, it would have had marijuana legalized for adult use, as well as regulated and appropriately taxed the growing and sale of marijuana. On the ballot, it was listed as Measure 80 but it got defeated by a 53%-47% margin

The state of Oregon holds several legal, legislative, and cultural events around cannabis use (hashish, kief, marijuana, THC) which have taken place over decades. Oregon was the first state to pass laws decriminalizing possessing small cannabis amounts. It was also one of the first to authorize medical marijuana. Though in 1997 there was an attempt to re-criminalize possessing cannabis in small amounts, it did not succeed as it was turned down by Oregon voters.

Governor Kate Brown in 2015 signed an emergency bill that allowed dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis from October 1, 2015. A regulatory framework was then put into place by state officials to establish a structure for the sale and taxing of cannabis as well as restructuring what was the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to become Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) and oversee it.

Following these amendments, dispensaries were discontinued from selling cannabis for adult use unless they obtained a license from OLCC to do so effective January 1, 2017.

In the one month between early December 2016 and early January 2017, retails outlets licensed to sale adult use cannabis increased from 99 to 260, with hundreds waiting in line.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.