In 1998, Oregon approved its use for individuals for certain qualifying medical conditions. Medically qualified patients could possess up to three mature cannabis plants or could contract for someone to grow them on their behalf.
Measure 91 establishes taxation rates based upon the sale volume of flowers, leaves, and plants. Subsequently, the taxation rate was changed to 17% for all sales, with an option for local city and county government to impose an additional 3%. Tax revenue from cannabis sales is distributed between the common school fund, mental health, alcoholism and drug services, cities and counties, law enforcement, and alcohol and drug prevention and treatment services.
The ability to grow your own cannabis plants is not absolute: If you are leasing your home, the landlord can restrict the property from being used in the cultivation of cannabis. Federal law prohibits growing the plant within 1,000 feet of a school, even if it is on private property. While growing at home is legal, processing the plant into a concentrate without a state-compliant facility is illegal and could be dangerous.
The OLCC oversees six license types; producer, processor, wholesaler, retailer, laboratory, and research licenses. Once products get into the OLCC system, they can only be transferred between OLCC licensed facilities, until they are sold to the end user by a retailer or destroyed, and must be recorded in the Cannabis Tracking System, METRC, which provides seed-to-sale tracking. OLCC rules limit how product can flow between license types and licensees.
Industrial Hemp Regulations
Oregon has strict laws regarding driving under the influence of an intoxicant, DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, also known as a DUI). Oregon DUII laws are applied in the same manner with alcohol or marijuana–both are considered intoxicants. For a first offence DUII, a diversion program may be available if the offender was not involved in an accident. This program allows the offender to complete a substance abuse program and be on probation for a period of time. If he successfully completes the diversion program, the DUII charge is dropped and the person will not have a DUII conviction on their record. If it is a second offence, or the offender is not eligible for the diversion program, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 2 days plus substantial fines and the offender must complete a substance abuse program. It is also illegal to consume marijuana in a vehicle even if you are not impaired, similar to open container laws.
In 2014, Oregon became the third state to legalize the personal use of cannabis, under ballot measure 91. While it would take another few months for Oregon’s recreational marijuana program to fully take effect, under emergency legislation, medical dispensaries were permitted to sell medical cannabis to recreational customer beginning October 1, 2015.
In 2005, Oregon created the current medical card program and allowed the patient to reimburse their growers for certain growing expenses. They also increased the allowable limit to 24 ounces of usable cannabis and six plants. In 2012, Oregon created a medical registry system which permitted medical marijuana dispensaries by state-issued license.
Which Cities and Counties Prohibit Cannabis Sales?
The Oregon Medicinal Marijuana Program (OMMP) is administered by the OHA. The OHA licenses and regulates medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries. Cannabis grown or processed under the OMMP program can only be sold to OMMP patients. There are certain exceptions that allow growers and processors to sell products to a recreational licensed facility.
Industrial hemp is defined as the plant Cannabis Sativa with a THC level of less than 0.3%. Industrial hemp in Oregon is regulated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (the ODA). The ODA issues two type of permits: 1) a grower permit and; 2) a handler permit. These permits are substantially easier and cheaper to obtain as compared to OLCC licenses, and there are much fewer restrictions. If the samples exceed the THC limit, the product must be destroyed. Similarly, processed hemp is required to be tested for THC levels prior to sale. Once the processed hemp is sold by a processor it is considered an agricultural commodity and is not further regulated by the ODA.
Possession of more than 4 ounces – 8 pounds of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $6,250.
Possession of more than 1 – 2 pounds of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 month in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Manufacture, Delivery, or Distribution
Generally, legalization means a policy that supports a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers can buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.