If you’re like me, you are overjoyed at the recent passing of Measure 91 in Oregon, which states that marijuana will be legal to purchase and consume recreationally by adults over the age of 21. I emphasize the word “will” because Measure 91 has not yet taken into effect, even though it has passed.
The law will go into effect July of 2015. This means that adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally own and consume marijuana and marijuana products – as long as the cannabis is consumed out of public view. However, the OLCC has until January of 2016 to begin reviewing and issuing licenses to would-be recreational dispensaries. So, even though adults will be able to own and consume the cannabis, they may not be able to purchase it from a recreational dispensary until at least January of 2016.
So – all you lovely medical marijuana patients should probably seek to keep your OMMP cards current until that date, at the very least. Keep in mind that the OMMP program will remain even after the recreational cannabis laws go into effect and recreational dispensaries are being opened. Medical marijuana shops and recreational marijuana shops will be separate establishments – the recreational cannabis will be taxed at $35 an ounce for flower, while everything about the medical marijuana market should remain consistent.
The taxation of legal recreational marijuana should not necessarily dissuade you from being involved in the new emerging market, however. In all likelihood, we will see similar prices in the recreational market as we are currently seeing in the medical. While it is true that recreational cannabis will be taxed, it will be taxed merely at a wholesale cost – meaning that the prices per ounce will not be significantly higher than what they are currently, unlike the models of taxation we have seen in Washington. Despite this, profits from taxation are expected to extend anywhere from tens of millions to even hundreds of millions – a stimulation of Oregon’s economy rather unlike anything we have seen before.
For more information, reference this handy chart from the folks behind Yes on 91 right here.