In Oregon, pro-marijuana advocates have been working tirelessly for months, spreading word about the benefits that may come from legalizing cannabis, and yesterday it all came to fruition. The war on marijuana has been going strong since the mid 1930’s, but the everyone on the Measure 91 team, from the big names, familiar faces, and law enforcement officers all the way down to the foot soldiers, may finally rest easy today knowing that they have been triumphant. Yesterday, voters elected Oregon to be the third of the United States to legalize the recreational use and retail sale of marijuana. Congratulations, Oregon!
What exactly does this mean for residents of Oregon?
Although, Measure 91, also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014, may not legalize cannabis as an import or export crop for the state of Oregon, it does allow for recreational use by residents and retail sale of marijuana by licensed dispensaries within the state. Adults aged twenty-one years or older, will be permitted to possess up to eight ounces of dried marijuana flowers, and to cultivate up to four marijuana plants in a private residence. Under this measure, the retail sale of cannabis will be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The state medical marijuana laws will remain unchanged.
This is only the beginning of a lengthy process for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the residents of Oregon. Measure 91 may have been approved by voters in November 2014, but it does not take effect until July 1, 2015. It is unlikely that retail marijuana dispensaries will be ready to open that day because the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has until the beginning of 2016 to issue business licenses. However, the OLCC may start drafting regulations, and accepting applications as soon as they are ready.
Congratulations are in order for the farmers of Oregon, as well, because under Measure 91, cultivating industrial hemp is also legalized!
photo credit: Oregonlive