Starting next week, Oregonians will be able to carry, share and consume recreational marijuana, but with no stores opening on the first day of legalization, a lot of people are still hazy on how Measure 91 will affect their lives. Here's everything that you need to know about the first day of legal pot.
What is legal on July 1?
Starting Wednesday, adults 21 and up in Oregon can legally possess and use recreational marijuana.
Which retail stores will have marijuana on the first day?
No retail stores will open on July 1. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is still sorting out rules and has until Jan. 4 to start accepting business licensing applications for growers, distributors and sellers. Sales could start as soon as Oct. 1. The joint House-Senate committee is moving to possibly make retail pot available sooner through medical marijuana dispensaries.
So if I can't buy marijuana, then where can I get it?
Marijuana can be given away, so if you know anyone who has a medical marijuana card, they can legally share buds, seeds or plants with you. A few events in Portland will handout seeds and samples.
Can I drive to Washington and bring marijuana back to Oregon?
Because marijuana possession is against federal law, it's illegal to take marijuana across any state border even though recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon and Washington. However, Portland police told the Oregonian that bringing Washington retail marijuana into the city is "not an issue."
How much can I legally have?
You can have 1 ounce of marijuana on your person in public or in your car. At home you can have up to:
- Four marijuana plants
- 8 ounces of dried marijuana flowers or leaves
- 16 ounces of marijuana in solid form, like edible products
- 72 ounces of marijuana in liquid form, such as oils
However, it doesn't matter how many adults live at a residence. The list is for total amounts per household.
Where can I use marijuana?
Marijuana and marijuana use is expected to stay out of public places and public view. Your home or a friend's house are permitted, but parks, public transportation, bars and restaurants are off limits. And though you own your car, if it's out on public streets, even if you're parked, you can't use marijuana.
Renters will need to look over their lease agreements to see what their landlords' rules are about smoking on the property.
How will taxes affect the price of marijuana when it's sold in retail stores?
The jury is still out on this. Measure 91 says marijuana producers would be taxed $35 per ounce of marijuana flowers, $10 per ounce of marijuana leaves and $5 per immature marijuana plant.
Recently, the joint House-Senate committee approved a sales tax of up to 20 percent on retail stores, which would replace the tax on growers. The proposal passed in the House Thursday and now goes to the Senate.
Whatever the tax is, it'll be wrapped up into the cost of marijuana at retails shops.
Sales taxes will not affect the medical marijuana program for now.
I'm visiting friends in Oregon; do I need to be a resident to possess marijuana?
Any adult 21 and older can legally possess marijuana in Oregon.
Can I use marijuana off the clock?
That depends on your employer. Businesses can still require employees to take and pass drug tests despite changes to the law. In June, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that employees could be fired from their jobs if they fail a drug test despite the legalization of marijuana.
So, if your job still requires drug testing, you may want to steer clear of pot altogether.
What do I do if my child ingests marijuana?
Children under the influence of marijuana can appear unbalanced or have trouble breathing. Edibles typically contain high concentrations of THC, which can mean more severe symptoms, especially in young kids. Children's Hospital Colorado advises that children who have consumed pot to be taken to a hospital.
My dog got into edibles. What should I do?
According to Portland animal hospital DoveLewis, symptoms of marijuana toxicity include vomiting, having glassy eyes or dilated pupils, stumbling, acting over-excited, agitated or extremely drowsy, or having tremors.
Pet owners are advised to call their veterinarian for proper treatment and to have the estimated amounted of pot eaten by the animal available.
I would like to open a marijuana business. How do I start the process?
The OLCC will have business applications available for production, processing and sales by Jan. 1 and will start receiving them by Jan. 4. The process fee will cost $250 and the annual licensing fee will be $1,000. Growers will be licensed first to start the process for recreational sales, according to the OLCC.
I don't want recreational marijuana stores in my city. What can I do to prevent them from opening?
Measure 91 says citizens are allowed to petition for an election to prohibit pot shops in their city or county. However, the joint House-Senate committee recently sent a bill to the House to consider allowing local governments to ban all marijuana businesses from counties that voted overwhelmingly against legalizing pot.
What are my options if my city restricts marijuana stores from opening?
While marijuana nearby might be hard to come by, you can still possess and use marijuana.
What will get me in trouble under the new law?
- Exceeding any possession limits
- Driving under the influence of marijuana
- Buying or possessing marijuana if you're not at least 21
- Importing or exporting across state borders
- Distributing large amounts or selling marijuana without proper licensing
- Using, exchanging or growing marijuana in public
- Possessing marijuana in prison or jail