According to state marijuana laws cannabis is currently legal in Oregon for both medicinal and recreational use.
That means that adults over the age of 21, including both residents and visitors, can legally purchase, possess and use recreational marijuana within limits defined by Oregon marijuana law. Medical patients can also get a doctor’s recommendation and register with the state medical marijuana program to legally purchase cannabis and benefit from lower taxation.
Oregon has a long history of cannabis culture. It was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis within the state and one of the first states to legalize medicinal use after California.
Possession of higher amounts that the law allows remains illegal as does selling without a license and you can still not smoke in public or drive while under the influence but these rules are similar to those for alcohol. Medical patients are subject to higher possession limits and purchasing limits than recreational users provided they are registered with Oregon’s medical marijuana program and carry a medical marijuana card.
Oregon Medical Marijuana Laws
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana one of the first states to legalize marijuana for medical use. Medical Marijuana was made legal in Oregon in 1998 when Oregon voters passed Measure 67 also known as the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was responsible for allowing marijuana patients to consume cannabis legally as well as setting up a state registry for medical cannabis users as part of the medical marijuana program. Medical marijuana dispensaries were licensed to allow patients to buy cannabis legally and limits were set on how many marijuana plants an individual patient could grow.
Although cannabis law in Oregon now permits recreational cannabis use as well as medicinal use, marijuana patients are subject to different laws in terms of the quantities of usable marijuana they can legally possess, the legal age limits for consumption, cultivation limits and daily and monthly purchase limits.
Under Oregon’s medical marijuana laws patients with a qualifying condition can get a recommendation from an attending physician entitling them to apply for a medical marijuana card. Find out more about getting a doctor’s recommendation here. Patients are then able to:
- Possess more than one ounce of marijuana in public.
- Legally purchase larger amounts of cannabis product.
- Buy from a medical marijuana dispensary.
- Legally purchase and consume cannabis from the age of 18 rather than 21.
- And cultivate up to 12 immature cannabis plants and 6 flowering cannabis plants.
Medical marijuana patients are also able to designate carers who can purchase or cultivate cannabis on their behalf. Carers need to apply for their own card but are then subject to the same possession and purchase limits as medical users.
Medical users can legally purchase up to 8 ounces of usable cannabis per transaction and up to 32 ounces of dried flowers in a month and they are legally able to possess up to 24 ounces of usable cannabis. As well as the increased possession and purchase limits there is also a financial consideration. Medical users are not subject to the same levels of taxation that apply to recreational marijuana sales.
Is marijuana legal in oregon? Staying Within The Law
Regardless of whether you are a medicinal user or not certain things remain illegal such as driving under the influence of marijuana or smoking in a public place. Cannabis also remains illegal under federal law and is still classed as a schedule 1 controlled substance meaning you need to be careful not to be in possession of cannabis on federal land.
As well as being illegal to smoke in public places there are also strict rules surrounding schools and children’s play areas. Plus landlords are allowed to ban smoking in their properties so smoking may even be prohibited in private residences.
Oregon’s Recreational Marijuana Laws
The passing of measure 91 in 2014 made marijuana legal for recreational as well as medicinal use and medical dispensaries began legally selling marijuana to recreational users in 2015.
However, although marijuana has been legalized for recreational use it is not as simple as weed is legal do what you like. There are still limits regarding how much you can possess, purchase, cultivate and give away and if you are caught in possession of more than you should have you are still breaking the law and could face a fine or even a prison sentence. Plus, there are different rules if you are at home or away from your home and quantities are different for cannabis edibles, cannabis concentrate and cannabinoid products.
Current Oregon laws allow adults over 21 who have valid ID to:
- Purchase up to one ounce of cannabis or 5 grams of cannabis concentrates from an OLCC-licensed retail outlet. Purchase of cannabis from unlicensed sources remains illegal. And as mentioned above if you are a registered Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholder you can buy more.
- Purchase up to 16 ounces of cannabis edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of products in liquid form, 10 cannabis seeds and up to 4 immature plants.
- Possess up to one ounce of cannabis in usable form although this goes up to 8 ounces if you are in a private property. Adults over the age of 21 are also legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis concentrates provided they have been purchased from a licensed retailer and not been made at home.
- Cultivate up to 4 plants per household out of public view. Again medical patients can grow more and there is a distinction between a mature plant and an immature plant.
- Give away cannabis up to legal possession limits to another adult providing there is no financial consideration which includes both money payment and payment in kind.
There are also a number of rules you need to be aware of when it comes to carrying, consuming and growing cannabis.
For example while it is legal to grow up to 4 plants per household this number does not increase if more than one adult lives at the residence and growing more could result in heavy fines of up to $125000. Also it is strictly illegal to grow if you live within 1000 feet of a school and absolutely not worth risking the potential 25 years in jail.
You also need to remember that while cannabis in Oregon might be legal it is still illegal under federal law according to the controlled substances act, and on federal land including national parks.
It is also strictly illegal to transport cannabis across states lines even if recreational weed is legal in both states. You also need to be careful when transporting legal cannabis within the state as Oregon laws require cannabis to be stored away from the driver in a childproof container.
Also while you are legally allowed to possess cannabis in public it remains illegal to smoke in public. Visitors or residents that are caught smoking in public, including bars, parks and sidewalks, could face a fine of up to $1000 and be prosecuted with a class b felony.
Different Drug Laws in Different Cities and Counties
It is worth noting that cannabis laws in Oregon allow for cities and counties within the state to opt out of statewide laws if 55% or more of the people voted against legalizing recreational cannabis. This means that individual cities and counties can choose not to allow licensed marijuana businesses.
Personal possession remains legal even in cities and counties where there are no licensed marijuana retailers. On top of this in 2018 a statewide delivery rule was passed to allow marijuana patients to order cannabis for delivery in any municipality. This rule was passed to ensure that patients are not denied access to the treatment they need or forced to purchase from the black market.
Oregon’s Cannabis Regulation
Marijuana business including marijuana production and distribution in Oregon is primarily overseen by both the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Legal cannabis in Oregon is available from licensed retailers and dispensaries. Retailers must apply for a license from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). As well as providing licenses for retailers, the OLCC also oversees Oregon’s cannabis licenses for producers, processors and wholesalers.
Many of Oregon’s marijuana retailers are also licensed to sell medical grade marijuana which can be sold to patients who have a doctor’s recommendation and are registered with the Oregon Health Authority’s medical marijuana program, and to offer a home delivery service.
You can find a list of all licensed retailers, producers and distributors on the OLCC website so you can check that the cannabis you are buying is safe and legal weed.