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Oregon Dispensaries May Be Able To Start Selling Recreational Marijuana In July


oregon recreational marijuanaOregon voters approved recreational marijuana legalization during the 2014 Election by a larger margin than any other state that has legalized marijuana thus far. Oregon was also the first state to decriminalize marijuana possession, and the second state to legalize medical marijuana. The State of Oregon has been going through the process of determining what rules will govern Oregon’s eventual recreational marijuana industry. The process has involved a lot of controversy, which I expected to happen. After all, politics is a messy business.

Recreational marijuana store licenses are not expected to be issued until late 2016, leaving a lot of consumers with no way to access marijuana legally until then. Oregon households will be able to start growing up to four plants in July, but for those that don’t know how to grow marijuana, or don’t have the means to grow marijuana, there will be no where to purchase marijuana until the licenses are issued for stores. That is, unless Oregon Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) has his way.

Senator Ferrioli has been floating the idea around the Oregon Legislature of letting medical marijuana dispensaries sell recreational marijuana starting July 1. Per Willamette Week:

The Oregon Legislature is mulling a plan to let medical-marijuana dispensaries temporarily sell pot to all adults as soon as recreational weed becomes legal July 1.

The idea by Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) could solve the problem of where to buy recreational weed while the Oregon Liquor Control Commission licenses recreational growers and stores.

OLCC chairman Rob Patridge has said the licensing process probably won’t be finished until late 2016—more than a year after recreational weed is legal to possess.

This plan would create more questions than answers in my opinion. For starters, what does this mean for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (OLCC) role in recreational marijuana? Activists have been very adamant about keeping recreational separate from medical, and this plan would obviously blend the two, at least for awhile. Would the Oregon Health Authority (OAH) be in charge of overseeing recreational sales, since they would be occurring in dispensaries that they already regulate?

How would the logistics work out? When a recreational customer goes into a dispensary to make a purchase, will they be doing it in a separate area from where medical purchases are occurring? Would they be making those purchases in the same place? While this plan seems like a good way to get sales to occur sooner, there would still need to be a lot of rules created, which doesn’t ultimately fix the problem of waiting for the Oregon Legislature to get it in gear. It’s not going to be as easy as saying, ‘yes, you can now sell recreational marijuana now.’

I like the idea of being able to purchase marijuana earlier than projected, but I don’t like the idea of blending the medical and recreational markets. I feel that a lot of politicians would use this as an opportunity to merge the two programs. They would say ‘well, we are already doing it, so let’s just keep doing it.’ That’s not what I voted for. I voted for an initiative that kept both separate. How do readers feel? Would you support the idea of letting dispensaries start selling recreational marijuana if it sped up the process? Would you want some type of guarantee that once rules are in place for full recreational, that the two were immediately separated? And if so, what could a politician possibly tell you that would give you the level of assurance that you would be after?



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Johnny Green


  1. Roy Musitelli on

    Seems that the card holders are getting their collective noses out of joint (pun intended) because they want to keep all the stash for themselves. And all the holier than thous will do anything to keep the casual user from gaining access. We won the right by an overwhelming margin in a election held months ago. What’s wrong with following Washington’s example? Give it up bureaucrats… this is your chance to balance the budget sooner than later.

  2. There is a difference we voted to separate for a reason there are people that have real medical issues in medical marijuana helps them with their pain and suffering if you allow recreationalcannabis to be part of the medical establishment patient will end up not getting there supply like they are used too. Also im sure there prices will go up and if you have cancer or any other serious medical problem and you use medical marijuana for your pain and suffering the last thing you want to see is medical marijuana to go up in price because they combined recreational and medical marijuana together I was one of the first to get a medical card in Oregon when it was allowed everyone told me I was stupid getting it help me with my pain I was going through and I was tired of the pills why should someone with cancer or AIDS that’s already pain many medical bills that they can’t afford have to pay more for medical cannabis when we voted we voted to keep them separate thats what we voted for in Oregon We the People finally passed to legalize recreational marijuana 21 and over not medical there is the difference recreational they just want to go get high Medical they don’t really have a choice there in pain why raise their prices that’s what will happen let’s keep it simple and be patient as its new to everyone keep recreational recreational and medical medical. I’m sure there are more reasons I could list but I’m not if you’re interested in finding out the pros and the cons do some research read on it

  3. samuel laskaris on

    yes it is legal to posses but i don’t thing it is right for ommp dispensaries to sell recreational weed early because they are licensed to sell medical weed
    not recreational if they are allowed to sell then we who are waiting to get permits to sell and grow if we have to wait they should as well because they would be selling medical weed not recreational

  4. You would need a license to sell to dispensary. You can only have 4 plants and no selling of them. You can give as gift up to 1oz.

  5. I think this can be simplified pretty easily. First of all dispensaries already have the space. So that’s done! Where will stores be built when everyone is buying and leasing up space to grow in to provide for the state when the licensing is available? That’s happening now and space is filling up fast. The price is going up to over $1.00 a ft. for space now. Use the space that has already been established is what I recommend. People already know where it is!! Second: One business license is a non-profit schedule 503-C one has an LLC or taxable business license. Pretty straight forward. There are (POS) software programs, that have been built to handle both taxed and untaxed. Potentially making Medical & recreation within the one program, or at least to start. It’s called MJ-Freeway. I use the program called Gram Tracker Elite. Upon entering a Dispensary/recreational store I recommend that each individual person have a system record built. Which this system already is capable of. Patients have tax free price, because they actually have a real medical condition need to invoke the body’s healing abilities via the endocannabinoid system. It’s really very simple. Retail consumer’s: Name, Address, Driver’s license that must be 21 of course and apply the tax for Oregon onto the profile. Each person shows there valid ID to check in once the profiles are built. This is also a anti-theft mechanism since everything is on film and everyone has to check it before they can even come it to either point of sale room. It’s brilliant!! Once this Profile is constructed which takes only about 2-3 min it can sort out recreational users from Medical. Even has a programmable tax percentage calculator as to account for the amount of tax to be paid to the state. Third: Legislatures are hired to make decisions. People should trust that they will make the right decisions to make a smooth /and simple system. Right now is a matter of the learning curve and figuring out what tools/rules will be most beneficial for everyone. Personally I don’t believe that anyone will argue with letting legitimate dispensary build out a separate room or building space to handle the flow of traffic. It just makes perfect sense. Anyone can E-mail me at RareEarthOrganicsPatientCenter@gmail.com. Let work together to come up with a very clear concise method to giving the people what they want.

  6. wolfbane97365 on

    I think patients in the OMMP program are going to be getting the short end of the stick. If dispensaries can sell retail their profits will sky rocket, but the patients(those with cancer, HIV, and severe pain) are going to have a hard time getting the marijuana they need as now the entire Oregon population over 21 will have access to dispensaries. Having talked with a dispensary owner they admit full well actual patients will most likely not have access like they used to since supplies will be greatly depleted, and they could care less.

  7. Richard Elvers on

    if the dispensary’s already have a licence let them sell recreational as well as medical,! shouldn’t hurt anything the fact is it might help with the people to shop at the store their used to.

  8. The law was passed and has nothing to do with OMMP. Many states will develop a recreational program without medical cannabis in place and we should too. Dispensaries are going to have to separate out the OMMP from the rec’s with each sale. I can legally carry 1.5 lbs of dry cannabis currently, but my recreational friends will only be able to purchase a fraction of that. Melding the two programs with weaken both. 2 cents.

  9. ANonnenmacher on

    Some of the various arguments for keeping the two systems separate:

    (1) the medical marijuana system works, and made the state $9 million over the past two years. It would not be a bureaucratic nightmare to have two profitable, well functioning marijuana systems.

    (2) the medical program functions in a way that allows patients to access affordable medicine. If the two systems were combined, patients would be subject to adult use prices, and adult use prices are subject to tax and to market demands. The spike in demand when marijuana is legalized will cause prices to increase (like they did in Washington and Colorado). Cannabis patients cannot use health insurance to pay for their medicine and, between doctor fees and filing fees, pays between $200 – $375 for a card. Patients should not be subject to recreational prices.

  10. David De Vere on

    Can somebody please explain the argument that recreational and medicinal cannabis must be kept separate? Why? Alcohol has legitimate medicinal value. Granted, it is generally used in a recreational manner. Whenever, you want spirits, to nurse a cold or celebrate a birthday you go to the liquor store. Same with cannabis. Looking to get giddy and eat everything in sight or managing chronic pain? Go to the cannabis store. As a comment below states, OMMP card holders can be tax exempt. Simply scan the OMMP card. A two tiered system is a recipe for a serious bureaucratic nightmare.

  11. This is what I wrote to the legislature. Feel free to steal any, or all, of it as you see fit.

    As July 1, 2015 nears it is imperative that there be a legal method in
    which recreational users, like myself, be able to obtain products
    desired: that being both usable marijuana [in all its forms] and plants
    for home-growth.

    Currently medicinal marijuana dispensaries are
    the only entities that have the legal ability, and the legal products,
    to provide recreational users both of the aforementioned items. As such,
    until there is a functional mechanism to deliver all those products I
    strongly urge you consider the interim option Sen. Ferrioli suggested
    [which was initially clarified by Sen. Burdick].

    is ample opportunity to begin allowing the will of the people to be
    realized immediately, with this stop-gap measure, while simultaneously
    giving the committee, and the OLCC, more time to work on the finer
    points regarding every aspect of creation, regulation, and
    implementation of a larger scale retail market.

    Additionally, to
    allay fears that medical dispensaries may be engulfed/assimilated by
    the retail market, once the market is established, shielding those
    dispensaries from being forced into the retail market should be as
    simple as offering language that plainly states dispensaries will return
    to their orginial mode of business practice post recreational market

    I would humbly ask that this option be provided
    an inordinate amount of time during your deliberations so you may
    ameliorate, or completely eliminate, potentially important issues of
    initial implementation of 91 before they arise.

    [Your name here]

  12. Medicinal shops selling to people who do not have a medical card is considered to be retail sales. Retail sales is not legal until mid to late 2016. 90% of people will wait for retail shops to open. And if they want it that bad they can grow it.

  13. It will cause highly psychotropic varieties to be limited to the OMMP card holders unless those prices go up. The actual medical stuff won’t see much sales because the highs are quite underwhelming…pretty good for chronic pain though- not worth paying more than conventional routes unless you have a lot of intolerance issues or are a severe case. This is why so many OMMP flowers get you blasted…to make it worth the price to the patient and the growers time. Because, after all, which one do people pay more for, a craft beer or a dose of Advil?

  14. The patients already did it. How many medical varieties are not also recreational varieties?

  15. Their shelves also happen to be principally stocked with recreational products already for sale.

  16. Yes..if they authorize HB3460 dispensaries to go rec, then it will mean those stores become rec or the two systems are going to be synthesized.

    I don’t see why having them together is bad…actual medical stuff doesn’t get you loaded. Its pretty asinine to sell non-psychoactive flowers in a rec store.

    The only real problem here is OMMP people not wanting to separate medicine from the high.

  17. Why not…there seems to be a lot of OMMP sales to rec anyhow (not the legal dispensaires- they sell actually only OMMP as of current as far as I know because, unlike patients and growers, the state stops by for inspections.

  18. 420ORsupporter77 on

    I think it would benefit not only the state, but also the masses as the previous post stated. Unfortunately, I don’t see there ever being a separation of the two programs once it starts. Regardless of how much they would try to separate them once the recreational side got off the ground, they would each leave a footprint behind in each program that was initially intended to be kept entirely separate. I am all for a way in which recreational marijuana can be purchased legally under the law, but this is not the solution. I wish I could put more faith in our politicians to adhere to what the public voted for, but I just don’t see that happening if we use a “quick fix” to the problem that could potentially become problematic for both the medical and recreational communities.

  19. This is an exceptional idea given how slowly recreational marijuana is shaking out. An interim option, where there is structure already in place to provide the products consumers wish to purchase is the ultimate in “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

    Ted Ferrioli understands the landscape of how long it is going to take recreational sales to get off the ground. He also understands the huge benefit there is to both the state and the masses that wish to purchase from reputable sources.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water because there are a few bad apples trying to spoil the bunch. There is a way to preserve the OMMP, and its infrastructure, while simultaneously allowing those establishments to serve the general public until recreational businesses get their licenses.

    The longer we wait to move on recreational marijuana the longer we risk those bad apples corrupting the intent of measure 91; That intent? To bring marijuana out of the shadows and into mainstream public view for all to enjoy just like alcohol. In doing so we only risk increasing state coffers [by all the obvious mechanisms of saving money while increasing tax revenue], normalizing usage state wide, increase legitimate growers income [via more consumers], and stymieing any attempts to alter what the voters demanded at last year’s ballots.

    Do not let fear drive a wedge between recreational users and medicinal advocates. Write your representatives in support of this excellent stop-gap measure Mr. Ferrioli has suggested. It is rare when common sense graces the halls of law: this is one of those moments: don’t let it slip away into the night like so many other great ideas that have come before it.

  20. Mike Johnson on

    I think you are right about the danger of mixing the two. The way our legislators have been trampling on medical marijuana in OR,WA and recreational in AK I don’t trust them to keep them separate.

  21. What are you people so worried about? Sell them together at the same places, just make sure you log in a patient for medical sales with card# at checkout for the untaxed stuff. How hard is that? Not any more difficult than checking id to buy booze! Over complications of the system will create a bureaucratic nightmare for dispensary owners and growers alike. Seed to sale tracking is another horrible idea. It will drive up costs a lot, will have to buy olcc approved tracking devices and what if I need to cull a sick plant or breeding experiments? It would discourage that cause of the cost of the equipment for tracking it and paperwork.

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