Oregon’s plan for legalizing marijuana different from Washington state – Record-Searchlight

PORTLAND, Ore. — 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 state, 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 with 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 compound in marijuana, as there is in Washington.

—Taxes on recreational pot would be much lower in …read more