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Legal state rec laws: Oregon

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OK, bottom line in Oregon, it is legal to carry up to one ounce of weed on your person, and similar amounts of concentrates and extracts, and certain Cannabis infused food and drink items. It is also legal here to have up to a half pound of dried flowers at your residence. It is also legal for you to grow up to 4 plants of any size or maturity at any one residences (regardless of how many people live there). Any weed grown has to be out of site of the public view with the unaided eye. Details of current marijuana laws in Oregon are given below.

 

Note that this applies to the state of Oregon only. Marijuana remains classified as a Class 1 narcotic under federal law at this time, and remains a federal crime for possession, growing and selling as of February, 2017.  So these laws only apply to state and private lands, and not on federal lands including BLM, National Forest and National Park/National Monument lands within the boundary of the state of Oregon.

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Oregon legalized recreational marijuana by approving ballot Measure 91 in 2014 by a margin of 56% to 44%. Measure 91 was the third attempt at legalizing recreational  marijuana by ballot measure. Previous attempt failed in 1986 with Measure 5, and again in 2012 with Measure 80.  Oregon also had previously legalized medical marijuana in 1998 which is still being managed by the Oregon Health Authority, known as the OHA. Measure 91 called for management of the states recreation marijuana industry by the Oregon Liqueur Control Commission, better known as the OLCC. It also called for the state legislature to draft laws and rules regarding the growing, processing, distribution and sale of recreational marijuana. The state legislature then drafted House Bill 3400, which defined all the laws regarding recreation marijuana in the state, and detailed how it would be rolled out and managed.

 

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After House Bill 3400 was drafted and approved, effective July 1, 2015, marijuana was legalized in the state. It allows for growing up to 4 plants per household residence of any size or maturity, as long as they are out of sight of public view with the unaided eye. It also allows for  possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Adults can carry up to one ounce of marijuana, keep up to eight ounces at home per household. It also set up and stipulated how the OLCC would ramp up recreational marijuana growing, procession, wholesaling, and sales and licensing as well as taxation of sales in state.  It also required that all marijuana be packaged and tested for pesticides, mold/toxins, and percentage of CBD and THC. It also set up a loophole where cities and counties that did not pass Measure 91 with a majority vote could opt out of allowing for recreation marijuana growing, processing, wholesale distribution and/or selling. The methods for opting out varied by the margin of voting, and some munis could ban recreation marijuana by county or city commission vote, or by popular vote in a general election.

 

 

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HB 3400 stipulated that retail sales outlets, testing labs, growing sites, distributors, processors and research institutes studying marijuana would be licensed by the OLCC, which would process applications for licenses. It also allowed early sales of recreational marijuana as a stop gap measure which started October 1, 2015 through the then existing chain of medical marijuana dispensaries managed by the OHA. Sales topped $11 million in the first week that recreational marijuana was legally available for sale in Oregon. Some of that money was mine, I bought 5 grams at 3 locations just to see what it was like. Many dispensaries were taken by surprise with the sheer volume of demand. During that time, we could also buy rooted clones and seeds, but not processed marijuana products and edibles (no dabbs or cookies). Sales of marijuana at dispensaries were allowed for a period of one and 1/4 years,  and that expired as of the 1st of 2017 when recreational sales shifted to OLCC licensed recreational Cannabis stores. During the overlap period, marijuana sales were tax-free until 2016, when a sales tax of 25% was levied on all marijuana sales for recreational use. As of January 1 of 2017, all recreation marijuana sales in Oregon are taxed at a rate of 17% with an optional city or county sales tax of another 3%. Note that the sale of concentrates (dabbs/wax/shatter) and edibles are now allowed at recreational marijuana stores in Oregon.

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And now back to the part where cities and counties could opt out of recreational marijuana under HB 3400. Note that this does not ban the growing or personal marijuana at your residence, or possession of marijuana under the legal limits set by the state in any city or county. It only affects OLCC licensed marijuana businesses in that municipality. Many county and city commissions banned marijuana if Measure 91 failed locally by a wide enough margin. Many cities and counties decided to put opting out to a vote, even though they could have banned it without a vote. The general election in November, 2017 resulted in 2 more counties opting out, and a whole long list of towns and cities opting out. Basically as it stands now, all the counties east of the Cascades have opted out, except Deschutes County, and all the counties west of the cascades have opted in, except Marion and Douglas Counties which have opted out. As an aside, Douglas County also banned medical marijuana dispensaries, and the city of Medford banned growing marijuana outdoors (even personal grown marijuana). 

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I was going to add a section here on the OHA laws for medical marijuana. However, it looks like the Oregon Heath Authority has taken a page from California and is wanting to give up managing the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) and have the OLCC manage it under rec weed laws. Seemingly like in California, the only thing that an OMMP card will get you in Oregon is tax-free marijuana at the point of sale. So you will save 17-20% on your weed with an OMMP or out of state medical marijuana card. All personal growing here will be under the personal rec weed grow limit if 4 plants per residence, and no medical weed will be grown in the state for sale at dispensaries. Dispensaries will have he option (as they have now) to convert over to recreation sales stores.  This is preliminary, and as of now the current OHA laws are still in effect, but I believe they will not be in place for much longer in Oregon. Its sad, but that is what legal weed has done in California and likely soon here. There are a lot of negatives to legalizing recreational weed.  This is just one of them.

 

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Strain Hunters is a series of documentaries aimed at informing the general public about the quest for the preservation of the cannabis plant in the form of particularly vulnerable landraces originating in the poorest areas of the planet.

Cannabis, one of the most ancient plants known to man, used in every civilisation all over the world for medicinal and recreational purposes, is facing a very real threat of extinction. One day these plants could be helpful in developing better medications for the sick and the suffering. We feel it is our duty to preserve as many cannabis landraces in our genetic database, and by breeding them into other well-studied medicinal strains for the sole purpose of scientific research.

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