Know The Law: Marijuana In Oregon

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The State of Oregon officially legalized marijuana in 2014 through a ballot initiative known as Measure 91. This allows for the recreational sale of cannabis by licensed dispensaries to those who are 21 years of age or older. Nowadays, Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission regulates the sale and licensing of recreational and medical cannabis businesses. Given the complexity of these laws and regulations, you probably have questions on what is permitted as it pertains to cannabis use and possession. To answer that question and more, Cultiva Law provides you with this brief overview of some key cannabis laws in Oregon. For a deep dive on the process of obtaining a license to grow or sell cannabis, please view our article here.

Consumer Laws

For individuals looking to buy cannabis in Oregon, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Primarily, know that the law limits the amount of cannabis that can legally be purchased. That amount depends on the type of cannabis product being purchased. The purchase limits are:

  • 1 ounce of usable marijuana (dried marijuana leaves of a flower) if you are a recreational consumer.
  • 8 ounces of useable marijuana per day, and no more than 32 ounces in one calendar month if you are an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cardholder or designated caregiver.
  • 16 ounces of a cannabinoid product in solid form.
  • 72 ounces of a cannabinoid product in liquid form.
  • 5 grams of cannabinoid products intended for inhalation (smoking or vaping).
  • 5 grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates, whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system.
  • 4 immature marijuana plants.
  • 10 marijuana seeds.

Many of the purchase limits mirror the amount of marijuana that you can possess at one time. The personal possession limits are:

  • 1 ounce of usable marijuana when you are in public.
  • 8 ounces of usable marijuana in your home.
  • 16 ounces of a cannabinoid product in solid form.
  • 72 ounces of a cannabinoid product in liquid form.
  • 5 grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates, whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system.
  • 4 marijuana plants.
  • 10 marijuana seeds.

The law limits where legal cannabis may be consumed. Oregon law mandates that cannabis cannot be consumed in public places (e.g. hallways, lobbies, highways, streets, schools, parks, playgrounds, public transportation).

Medical Marijuana

Cannabis that is recommended by a licensed physician carries a few distinct regulations apart from recreational cannabis. Unlike recreational cannabis, medical marijuana can be purchased by patients who are 18 years or older with a qualifying medical condition. The State of Oregon defines a qualifying medical condition as any of the following:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • A degenerative or pervasive neurological condition
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • A medical condition (or a treatment for a medical condition) that causes one or more of the following:
  • Cachexia (a weight-loss disease that can be caused by HIV or cancer)
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Persistent muscle spasms

Unlike with recreational cannabis, in order to purchase medical grade marijuana, you must obtain a recommendation from a physician and apply for a medical marijuana card. The standard application fee is $200, but an applicant can qualify for a reduced rate of:

  • $60 with proof of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
  • $50 with proof of Oregon Health Plan (OHP) eligibility.
  • $20 with proof of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
  • $20 with proof​ of service in United States Armed Forces.

Based on your physician’s recommendation, you may be permitted to purchase larger amounts of marijuana than recreational users.

Growers

The law in Oregon allows for individuals to grow cannabis for personal use. As of July 1, 2015, Oregonians can grow up to four plants per residence regardless of how many people live at the property. However, the sale of marijuana from unlicensed individuals or entities is strictly forbidden. Only OLCC licensed retailers are permitted to sell marijuana in Oregon.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the laws surrounding possession and home-grown marijuana are at the discretion of various state police agencies and local municipalities. OLCC handles the regulation and enforcement of laws pertaining to cannabis businesses. This includes retailers, commercial growers, processors, and wholesale purveyors of cannabis and cannabis-based products.

Synthetic Marijuana

The possession, sale, and manufacturing of synthetic marijuana is forbidden by Oregon law. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy notes that synthetic marijuana contains chemicals that are not derived from cannabis plants. Those chemicals may be controlled substances under Oregon law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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