Marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; state also has a medical marijuana law
Last update: January 14, 2020
Little marijuana policy change following short 2018 session
Lawmakers reconvened early this year in a short session, which is held in alternating years. The compressed scheduled meant little change to current marijuana laws or policy in the state, particularly as those laws continue to serve residents and their communities.
Oregon’s elected officials have been generally supportive of the state program, as are most Oregonians. In August of last year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown, critical of the state’s regulatory program — and in fact governors in the three other legalization states also received similar letters. In response, Gov. Brown indicated her support for the state program and called out the letter as based on outdated and incorrect information. In fact, all of the states that received letters from the Department of Justice responded to indicate that they were based on bad data. AG Sessions’ letter is available online here, along with Gov. Brown’s response.
Oregon’s program continues to evolve, with most changes coming from the regulatory agency rather than lawmakers. Regulators and law enforcement are looking for ways to reduce possible diversion of cannabis produced for the legal market that is entering the underground. 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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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed four pieces of cannabis-related legislation this year, including two on Monday. One of the bills signed this week, HB 4094, will ensure that financial institutions that serve both medical and nonmedical cannabis businesses will not be subject to state criminal laws. The other, SB 1524, makes it easier for veterans who receive services from the VA health system to renew medical marijuana registrations.
Her signatures follow last week’s signature on SB 1511, the second…