In a surprising twist after Oregon recently passed it’s recreational marijuana retail legislation, Oregonian adults will now be able to purchase recreational marijuana beginning October 1st, roughly a year earlier than had been expected. Last Tuesday, July 28th Governor Kate Brown signed a law that will allow for the sale of recreational marijuana in existing medical marijuana dispensaries just three months after Oregon’s new marijuana law was passed.
Governor Brown’s spokeswoman said in a statement that the measure, “is a smart solution to a short-term logistical problem...Oregon’s new recreational marijuana law went into effect in July 2015, but Oregonians couldn’t lawfully buy it anywhere for another year or more. If marijuana is legal to use, it shouldn’t be illegal to buy.”
In that respect the decision makes sense. The new law will allow for adults 21 years of age and older to purchase up to one-fourth of an ounce of recreational marijuana per day at medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. In addition customers will also be able to purchase seeds and up to four non-flowering marijuana plants. Giving customers even more incentive to buy is the fact that the 25% state tax on marijuana use doesn’t go into effect until January 4th 2016. Meaning that customers can get their marijuana tax free for the next few months.
The law took effect on July 1st, but it was thought that sales would not begin until 2016 in order to give the state time to establish a regulatory framework for the sales and issue the necessary licenses to retailers. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has been placed in charge of regulating and monitoring the new recreational marijuana industry and will issue licenses to new recreational marijuana retailers at a later date. Those shops will differ slightly from the dispensaries due to the fact that they will be able to sell up to one ounce of marijuana per transaction and are due to open before the end of 2016.
US Representative Earl Blumenauer has been a strong supporter of ending prohibition style marijuana policies and supports Oregon’s handling of the new recreational marijuana legislation. “I think this is a step forward...The state is doing a careful job of rolling this out in a thoughtful way, working to keep with the intent of the ballot measure,” Blumenauer said.