Oregon voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana during the 2014 Election. The cultivation and possession provisions of the initiative go into effect in less than a week (July 1), but the roll-out of legal sales will have to wait. If some lawmakers in Oregon have their way, the wait would not be that long. A bill that would allow established medical marijuana dispensaries to sell limited amounts of recreational marijuana to adults starting October 1 passed a key hurdle today. Per Oregon Live:
Legislators on the House-Senate marijuana committee said consumers should have a legal place to purchase the drug not long after possession becomes legal on July 1. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is charged with licensing recreational marijuana retailers, has said it won’t be ready to allow shops to open until the last half of 2016.
Supporters of a temporary sales program at dispensaries said this is a way to avoid a new surge of demand for pot on the black market. The legislation, Senate Bill 460, includes a number of restrictions limiting the extent of sales.
Recreational buyers would be limited to buying one-quarter ounce of dried marijuana buds and leaves per day. They could also buy seeds and immature plant starts, which they could use to grow their own at home. Consumers would not be able to buy a range of other marijuana-laced products available to medical marijuana users, such as foodstuffs and concentrated forms of the drug.
This bill is not perfect, as there will only be very limited sales, but it’s a start. If this bill becomes law, and sales actually start on October 1, Oregon will be the fastest state to go from legalizing recreational marijuana to allowing the first official sale of recreational marijuana. Washington D.C. (not technically a state, I know) does not allow recreational sales, Alaska is still awhile out before sales will be allowed, Colorado took a little over a year, and Washington took the better part of two years to implement regulated recreational marijuana sales. I can’t wait until I can go into a store, show my ID, and buy a Cheeba Chew and a True North Extracts vape pen cartridge, but for now a quarter of top shelf Oregon flower will do!