In a matter of just three more months, Oregon residents will finally be able to enjoy all of the benefits of legalized cannabis, specifically the introduction of recreational sales.
On Tuesday, Governor Kate Brown signed a law allowing the launch of a temporary retail pot program, giving medical marijuana dispensaries across the state the authority to sell recreational weed as of October 1, 2015. The new law gives adults over the age of 21 the freedom of purchasing up to a quarter ounce of raw cannabis per day, while also providing them access to starter plants in an effort to promote home cultivation.
To sweeten the deal, all of the recreational cannabis sold for the rest of the year will be minus the 25 percent state tax. That portion of the law will not take effect until January 4, 2016.
Upon the passing of Measure 91, which legalized a statewide cannabis trade similar to that of Colorado and Washington, state officials voiced concerns that the law’s effective date (July 1) would contribute to an increase in black market sales because the recreational sector could not possibly be up and running before late 2016. However, the law, SB 460, offered a reasonable solution to the problem by allowing recreational cannabis to be sold legally through medical marijuana dispensaries while the regulations for the fully functional retail market were in the process of development.
Kristen Grainer, a spokesperson for Governor Brown’s office, told The Huffington Post that the passing of the temporary recreational trade was a no-brainer because it offered a “smart solution to a short-term logistical problem.” She then went on to say that it was the credence of the Governor that “if marijuana is legal to use, it shouldn’t be illegal to buy.”
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the operations of the cannabis industry, plans to issue licenses for retail locations sometime within the next year. In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries, many of which are expected to eventually make the transition to the recreational sector, will have the ability to sell weed until the state is prepared to completely open the gates to cannabis commerce.
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