Almost 2 years after recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon, recreational weed stores have been approved to open. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission met its deadline on Friday by announcing that 26 recreational weed retailers across the state have been approved to open. In fact, 12 of them were permitted to start doing business as soon as last Saturday. The stores will be opening around Portland as well as in south, central and west Oregon, which includes the coast line. More retail stores will be licensed in time, but as of now, those applications are still pending.
Increasing Labs to Meet Demand
The testing facilities that check for marijuana strength as well as pesticides and other harmful elements have been extremely strained. In response to cries for help made by the head of the agency that accredits the testing labs, 10 new testing labs have been licensed. These issues have now been resolved thanks to the great efforts made by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, who dealt with the lab accreditation applications.
More Licenses for Producers of Legal Weed
Dozens of recreational weed producers were also given licenses which will help deal with public demands. While legal weed has always needed to be tested, it now must be done so by an accredited lab and test results need to be put on the marijuana product labels. Anything bought by retailers before Oct. 1 will be allowed to be sold up until March 2017. All products bought after Oct. 1 have to abide by the rules of the new testing processes. Another regulation demands that marijuana producers do not make products appealing to children. This applies to product name, packaging and general presentation.
Restrictions on Dispensaries
Since last October, recreational weed users have been able to get their marijuana from medical cannabis dispensaries. Now that the retail stores are opening, medical dispensaries will not be able to continue to sell recreational marijuana after Dec. 31. While there is a medical marijuana dispensary on the eastern side of Oregon, there have been many eastern counties that have decided to ban recreational marijuana sales. Nonetheless, the rest of the state is in favor of the new industry.
Recreational Weed Rules in Oregon
Oregon residents over the age of 21 are allowed to possess up to 8 oz. of marijuana in the home and 1 o.z of marijuana outside of the home. Adults can grow up to 4 plants per household under the condition that they are completely hidden from public view. All marijuana and marijuana edibles must be consumed in private and out of public view. It is legal to make your own edible marijuana products for private use, or receive them as a gift. Driving under the influence of marijuana is completely banned. Recreational marijuana purchased in Oregon cannot be taken out of the state.
Oregon is currently on track to make $43 million in marijuana tax revenue this year and it is estimated that the industry has created approximately 2,000 low to moderate paying jobs. With new testing labs, producers and retail stores opening, those figures are sure to increase. Oregon is 1 of 4 states, plus D.C., that has a legal marijuana industry. Several more states including California, Nevada and Maine, are voting on the issue this November.