In 2014 voters in the state of Oregon voted yes on measure 91 to legalize recreational marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. With an existing medical marijuana program already in place, medical marijuana dispensaries were able to open their doors for retail sales on on October 1st, 2015. The move to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to cater to retail consumers was taken to allow time for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees the recreational market in the state, to properly implement a retail industry. Retail marijuana dispensaries are set to open their doors on October 1st of 2016.
Over the last few months, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has received over 1,300 recreational cannabis related business applications. At this time Oregon has not implemented a cap on how many recreational facilities can be implemented in the state. So far they have approved almost 200 licenses with the majority of them being granted to cultivators. Many applications have been delayed as they have either been incomplete or there has been questionable logistics surrounding applications for outdoor cultivation.
With the process of approval taking between 45 and 60 days any medical marijuana dispensaries that are hoping to transition into the recreational market are urged to get their applications submitted immediately as they only have until the end of the year. On October 1st of 2015 when medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to open their doors for retail consumers no taxes were being applied to recreational sales. This did, however, change on January 1st when Oregon implemented a 25% sales tax on all retail cannabis sells. This retail cannabis tax is expected to decrease to 17% once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes control over retail sales this fall.
Oregon offers many benefits for retail cannabis consumers. Unlike many other states where cannabis is legal for recreational purposes, Oregon offers cannabis social clubs where cannabis consumers can socialize with like-minded individuals. This is not something you currently see in states such as Colorado, which pioneered recreational cannabis legalization in the United States. If you are a resident of the state you are allowed to cultivate a small number of cannabis plants for personal use which is something that is not legal next door in Washington state. Oregon also offers many spectacular natural landscapes including mountains and oceans which are loved by individuals throughout the cannabis community.
If you are looking to move to a state where you can blaze and not worry about going to jail or if you are looking to open a retail cannabis business, Oregon would be a great place to check out as the market is set to grow expeditiously in the state in the coming years.
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