Oregon became the third state to legalize marijuana for recreational use late November of 2014, following successful efforts in Washington and Colorado. These states are laying the groundwork for the new legal cannabis market which will surely have an impact on other states and countries looking to make progressive reform. Currently, all of these legalized states are learning from each other and adjusting the laws based on the needs of their citizens. So whether you live in Portland and are wanting to enter the cannabis industry or are just traveling to the state, here are some relevant facts about what makes Oregon’s cannabis legalization different.
1. Residency Requirement
Colorado and Washington both have residency requirements that say people applying for cannabis business licenses must have been residents of the state for a minimum amount of time. For Washington, that residency requirement is three months while Colorado is a staggering two years. Oregon, however, will have no residency requirement which will mean outside investment and businesses will be able to inject the state with cash.
2. Home Delivery
Home delivery is illegal in both Washington and Colorado—the Liquor Control Board of Washington has not authorized anyone to distribute marijuana outside of a licensed dispensary. However businesses have been set up that do home delivery, they are the responsibility of local police and have (so far) not been shut down. Oregon will allow for home delivery within their laws which will help those who are immobile.
3. Vertical Integration
The states that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes have different rules regarding the growing and sale of the product. In Colorado, dispensaries must produce 70 percent of their product while Washington doesn’t allow growers to sell at retail or wholesale. Oregon, however, will allow for producers to sell at retail and wholesale, so businesses will have a much better control over their pricing. Helping you, the consumer, save money!
Smoking in Public
Smoking in public is not allowed in any of the states (boo)—but you will not go to jail (yay!).
Bottom Dollar to Businesses
Taxation has always been part of the deal in legalization—stop arresting marijuana smokers and we will cut government in on the money. Washington taxes cannabis 25% at the point of sale, Colorado taxes the wholesaler 15% in addition to a 10-15% sales tax at the point of sale. Oregon will revolutionize this by charging a $35.00 fee to the producer for every ounce—no tax directly for consumers.
In both Washington and Colorado, it is illegal for motor vehicle operators to have more than 5ng of THC in your system. This system can be flawed for those who smoke cannabis on a regular basis as these levels in the blood will frequently be high despite not being currently under the influence. Oregon will be looking for new ways to test driver impairment under marijuana and will not be adopting the 5ng system.
Pot on Planes
For those flying within Oregon state lines, you will now be able to bring cannabis with you on your flight without hassle from the TSA. You can bring the legal limit (one ounce) aboard but still no getting high while you are getting high (in the air).
It’s clear that Oregon is taking radical steps after watching the legalization efforts of both Washington and Colorado. They are looking at what works and doesn’t work to better their market for business and tourism while considering the safety and liberty of its citizens.
Way to go Oregon!
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