Oregon rolls out legal-pot plan far different from Washington’s – The Seattle Times

Originally published October 5, 2014 at 8:08 PM | Page modified October 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM

PORTLAND — Matt Price sells 100 different kinds of edibles, tinctures, buds and other marijuana offerings to the patients who frequent Cannabliss, the medical dispensary he opened up in a historic brick building that once served as a fire station.

Unlike in Washington, Price’s medical-marijuana business is licensed by the state, and all the pot he sells is subject to mandatory testing and labeling.

The 28-year-old entrepreneur says he’s now ready for his next step — an expansion into recreational marijuana if Oregon voters pass a measure this fall that would legalize pot sales to anyone 21 years of age or older.

“We’ve had inspections,” Price said, referring to medical-marijuana dispensaries. “We’re already abiding by the laws. So being first up for recreational makes logical sense.”

The expansion of Oregon medical-marijuana marketers into recreational sales would mark a very different industry evolution than in Washington, where there is a sharp separation between heavily regulated pot shops open to all adults and a much bigger medical-marijuana trade with scant government oversight.

In Oregon, the wording of the 35-page ballot measure assures that there would be plenty of other differences from the legalization of marijuana in Washington:

• The Oregon initiative would allow people to grow up to four plants in their homes, a practice prohibited under Washington’s marijuana law. Oregon would allow users to possess 8 ounces of pot for recreational use at home, compared to 1 ounce in Washington.

• In hopes of creating a more efficient industry, the Oregon initiative would allow for a single business enterprise to grow, process and sell marijuana. In Washington, separate businesses are required for each of those functions.

• In Oregon, there would be no driver-impairment level set for THC, the psychoactive …read more