Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, signed a bill on March, 29th that made it legal for Oregon dispensaries to sell marijuana extracts and marijuana-infused edibles.
This post will help you understand your rights under this new provision. I’ll explain how and when you can legally buy edibles and extracts in Oregon, as well as how these new rules affect current DUII laws.
Senate Bill 1511: Legalizing Recreational Edible & Extracts Sales
Recreational marijuana use has been legal in Oregon since July 2015, but there have been (and still are) many restrictions on what dispensaries are allowed to sell. Until now, marijuana edibles and extracts have been available only to medical marijuana users, not to recreational users.
This new bill changes that, by allowing anyone 21 and older to buy marijuana extracts and edibles from Oregon dispensaries starting on June 2, 2016.
How Much Can I Buy?
Oregon isn’t really focused on limiting the amount you can buy as much as on limiting the potency of the products sellers can sell. The potency of a marijuana product is measured by the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical that causes the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects.
Retail customers can buy one “low-dose” marijuana-infused edible product per day. In Oregon, “low-dose” means 15 milligrams of THC or less.
Customers can also buy:
One pre-filled container of marijuana extract (the material that’s usually used in vaporizers) containing 1,000 milligrams of THC or less.
Topical products containing marijuana, like lotions and creams, with 6% THC or less. (These products aren’t psychoactive, which means they won’t get you high.)
Remember: Those limits are different than the rules on how much marijuana you’re allowed to have with you. You can still only have 1 ounce of marijuana or less in your possession in public, and less than 8 ounces at home.
Do the New Rules Affect DUII Laws?
No. Driving under the influence of any amount of marijuana is still illegal. If a blood or urine test detects any marijuana in your system at all, you can be convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), even if your driving skills weren’t actually impaired. Also, compared to alcohol, marijuana can stay in your bloodstream for much longer -- days or even weeks.
So what changes with the new rules on edibles and extracts? Technically, DUII laws are the same, but it’s important to know that marijuana extracts and marijuana-infused edibles don’t have the same effect on the body as smoking marijuana does. Edibles and extracts can be much more potent, and it can take longer for you to feel their effects.
That’s why it’s safest to avoid driving altogether if you have used marijuana in any form. A DUII in Oregon is a Class A misdemeanor, which means your driver’s license will be suspended for at least a year (§ 813.010).
Other Common Questions Answered
Can I travel with marijuana edibles and extracts?
It depends where you’re going. It is a federal offense to carry marijuana over state lines, even if you’re traveling to another state where marijuana is legal, like the State of Washington.
Where can I consume marijuana I’ve purchased?
You can consume marijuana at home or on private property. Using marijuana in public is still illegal.
Where will the taxes from recreational marijuana sales go?
Taxes generated from legal marijuana sales in Oregon help fund state programs, and will be distributed as follows:
40% - Common School Fund
20% - Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Services
15% - State Police
10% - Oregon cities for local law enforcement (distributed proportionally by population)
10% - Oregon counties for local law enforcement (distributed proportionally by population)
5% - Oregon Health Authority for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, early intervention, and treatment
My Final Thoughts
These rules are still very new. Only a few states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and in many states, even medical marijuana isn’t legal. To learn more about your rights in Oregon, visit Oregon.gov’s Marijuana FAQs.
It’s probably still too early to know the full impact of this new bill, so for the time being I urge extreme caution before testing the boundaries of these ever-changing laws.