When Will Oregon Start Recreational Cannabis Sales?

Mount Hood taken from the air

One of the most vexing questions since Measure 91 passed in November 2014 is the time frame for recreational consumers of cannabis to be able to purchase their newly legal cannabis.

The date that’s been batted around most often for recreational pot shops to open has been sometime in late 2016—a long way off, which begs the question of what potential cannabis buyers should do before then, once legalization takes effect on July 1 in just a few short weeks.

You can still always drive to Vancouver and pay overtaxed Washington prices, but news circulated last week that Salem may have a better idea.

By reworking House Bill 3400, politicians from both sides of the aisle believe they can craft a plan to allow the 200 medical marijuana dispensaries around the state to begin selling cannabis to recreational users (as well as their established medical clientele) on October 1 of this year, according to the Oregonian.

In order for this to happen, Salem legislators would have to make changes to existing marijuana law.

Rob Patridge, chairman of the OLCC, is in the process of drafting amendments to House Bill 3400 to combine the medical and recreational marijuana marketplaces.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Revenue has made steps forward in their ability to collect and process taxes from legal cannabis sales, perhaps being ready by October as well.

Some legislators are pushing to make the product at medical marijuana dispensaries available to recreational users as soon as legalization takes effect on July 1, so that timeline could potentially even be accelerated, although that remains to be seen.

With Oregon’s elaborate, flourishing medical cannabis marketplace already well in place, this seems to be an excellent solution to bridging the gap between legalization and the opening of recreational shops.

Provided Salem can make it happen, of course.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies OregonCannabisConcierge.com and CaliforniaCannabisConcierge.com. His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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