PORTLAND, Ore. – Early sales of recreational marijuana began Thursday in Oregon. What can you purchase and what will still be off-limits?
KGW talked with state officials and participating stores about what's legal.
Where can I buy recreational marijuana?
Any current medical cannabis dispensary can sell recreational marijuana as long as they register with the Oregon Health Authority, according to Jonathan Modie of OHA, the agency regulating early sales. Right now, just over 200 of the state's 345 medical shops have registered to sell recreational pot.
To find a participating store, click here (registered shops have a "Yes" in the "Retail" column).
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will take over regulating legal weed when it irons out all of the rules sometime next year. But state officials decided to allow early sales starting Oct. 1, in order to give residents an option to legally purchase the drug.
Who can buy recreational marijuana?
Anyone over the age of 21 with a valid ID can legally buy weed. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients who are under 21 can still purchase cannabis as long as they have a valid OMMP card.
What can I buy?
The state is limiting what you can buy to flowers, seeds and clone plants, until the OLCC irons out their rules next year.
A shop can sell you up to a quarter of an ounce (about seven grams) of cannabis buds or pre-rolled joints at a time. You could technically buy four times that in a day to get to the legal limit you can have in public, which is an ounce.
You can also purchase four starter plants or an unlimited number of seeds and grow your own pot at home.
You can't buy tinctures, hash, dabs, edibles, topicals or any other processed cannabis products. OMMP patients, on the other hand, will still be able to purchase the concentrated items in stores.
How much will it cost?
There are no set prices for legal cannabis and it won't be taxed until Jan. 4, 2016. Dispensaries can sell cannabis for any amount they want, but it will be similar to current medical marijuana prices.
At Canna Daddy's Wellness Center, one of the state's biggest pot shops, owner Brad Zusman said he will sell one gram of pot for between $8 and $15. Those prices will be taxed by 25 percent starting Jan. 4.
Canna Daddy's will also sell seeds and clones. Zusman said he expects business to more than double, going from about $350,000 per month to between $800,000 and $1.2 million in revenue.
When can I buy it?
Right now, there are no regulations for when pot can be sold – meaning pot shops in Oregon opened their doors at midnight on Oct. 1.
The Portland City Council voted to limit operating hours for dispensaries to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. during a meeting Sept. 30. But the city can't enforce those hours until shops have a license from the city, which won't be available until December. Until then, they can operate anytime, day or night.
There are celebrations planned at many shops Thursday. Green Oasis in Sellwood is hosting a block party at 6 p.m., featuring the Garcia Birthday Band. Cannacea will have free samples, giveaways and a live band. Leafly, an online review site for pot shops, will have food carts at Bridge City's two locations, as well as AmeriCannaRX and Natural Rxemedies.
What do dispensaries have to do to sell legal weed?
Dispensaries have a couple additional rules to abide by for recreational pot sales.
The Oregon Health Authority is requiring any participating retail shop to post specific health warnings and distribute educational materials with items sold.
They also have to record details of the marijuana sale (type of product, how much, birth date of customer, and date of sale) in order to avoid selling more than the legal limit to the same person in one day. Recreational users can have up to an ounce in public and eight ounces of usable weed in their homes.
Who is enforcing the rules?
The Oregon Health Authority is in charge of making sure dispensaries are abiding by the rules of early recreational marijuana sales. Right now, there are only two OHA staff members checking in on dispensaries to make sure they are following the rules, but there are plans to hire another dozen enforcers.
Modie said there's no way his staff can check out every store before Oct. 1. But he expects that the stores will work diligently to comply with all of the rules, because the penalties are harsh. A shop that doesn't abide by the law, or sells to someone who is underage, can be shut down immediately for both retail and medical sales.
As for individual crimes -- including driving under the influence – local and state police are in charge of cracking down on offenders, just like they already do with alcohol.