Big changes ahead in 2016


Last update: February 4, 2016


Oregon’s creation of a fully regulated marijuana market for adults is well underway. Much happened in 2015, including new regulations and sales for adults at medical marijuana dispensaries. Much more is slated for 2016.

Already this year, Oregon saw the end of the so-called “tax holiday,” as adult retail consumers began paying sales taxes for the first time at dispensaries’ registers. At the same time, those looking to run a business serving the adult market started turning in applications, with hundreds submitted in just the first few weeks. Later this year, many are expected to receive licenses from state regulators and begin operations.

The 2016 legislative session is a short one this year, and it appears two bills will be the focus of most of the attention where it comes to marijuana regulation. Both propose to make a broad range of changes – from the mundane to the large. HB 4014 would remove current residency requirements for owners and those who invest in businesses that serve the adult retail market. It would also make tweaks to the current fee structure and security requirements for licensed businesses, along with many other changes. Meanwhile, the Senate bill – SB 1511 – would allow businesses that serve adult consumers to provide medical marijuana products, authorize medical marijuana dispensaries to sell concentrates to adult consumers (currently prohibited), and make sensible improvements to penalties for some types of marijuana-related crimes. In addition, it would clearly prohibit adult retail shops from collecting taxes from medical marijuana patients. And like HB 4014, the Senate bill includes many other changes as well.

With such a short (35-day) session this year, these bills are likely to both change and move fast, so stay tuned! For a closer look at the law as it currently stands, see our summary here, and be sure to check out the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s detailed FAQ, available here.

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Pending Legislation