Local elections change marijuana policy landscape in many communities

Last update: November 16, 2016


While Election Day saw many victories for the marijuana policy reform movement nationally, around 60 local communities in Oregon considered — and many adopted — restrictions on marijuana businesses.

Under the 2014 legalization initiative, local communities have the option of restricting marijuana businesses, and many did so following the popular vote. Today, many local governments that consider bans must seek voter approval, and around 60 rural communities considered such measures this election. For the most part, voters approved the proposals, but measures were rejected in 15 contests, including one in Oregon City and two in Douglas County. The bans at issue only effected businesses, not home cultivation or possession.

In addition, over 100 communities adopted modest increases in local sales taxes for marijuana purchased at non-medical retailers. In Portland, 80% of voters agreed to increase the local sales tax by three percent to pay for needed local services. For a complete list of marijuana measures and votes in local contests, click here.

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. Americans are increasingly supportive of marijuana legalization, but these changes do not come without restrictions. Stay tuned, and stay engaged as marijuana policy in your community evolves.

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