In 1973 Oregon became the first State to decriminalize small use of cannabis, and in 1998, joined Alaska and Washington as the next state to legalize for medicinal use. But immediately after the passing of 2012’s I-502 in Washington, fresh demand for recreational reform made the news. Finally in 2014, Measure 91 was approved by voter ballot, and legal recreational sales were to commence in 2016.
With around 400 medical marijuana dispensaries, Governor Kate Brown passed an emergency bill in 2015 allowing early sales for recreational users. Once state officials had formed a regulatory structure, recreational sales were by way of OLLC License holders, including dispensaries.
In the month following December 2016, licensed retailers went from 99 to 260.
In its first year, Oregon’s legal cannabis sales closely followed Colorado, but significantly outpaced Washington State, one theory being the much lower tax rate, at almost half. It’s still early days for Oregon, but already state schools are feeling the benefits thanks to their first $34 million payout.
"I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don't work. Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits."
Former US Attorney, Kristine Olson
"Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as marijuana prohibition."
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