Know The Law: Marijuana In Oregon

The State of Oregon has long been at the forefront of marijuana reform. Oregon became the first state to decriminalize marijuana In 1973. Although, it did little to end the War on Drugs. They continued to be on the forefront. In 1998, medical marijuana became legal in Oregon for patients with certain qualifying conditions. Finally, in 2014, through a voter-approved ballot measure, recreational marijuana was made legal. Still, the law limits who can possess marijuana and how much. It is important to note, the 2014 law did not legalize marijuana. It decriminalized certain behaviors. The current laws surrounding marijuana can intersect and cause confusion if you do not educate yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the current marijuana laws in Oregon, including some key provisions that you should be aware of. If you are looking more for a primer on obtaining a license for production or retail cannabis, look at our article here: on How do I Get a Cannabis or Hemp License in Oregon? Otherwise, read on.


Possession, Purchase, Usage

While recreational and medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, there are some restrictions on who can purchase, possess and consume the drug. Current law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying, possessing or using marijuana. It is vital that you understand that the possession of marijuana by persons under the age of 21 may result in criminal penalties. If you are 21 years or older, the law allows purchase, possession and usage of marijuana, but with some important limitations. Critically, it is never legal for anyone to consume any form of marijuana in public.

The law treats marijuana possession differently depending on where you are located. If you are in public, then you may only possess up to the following amounts of marijuana or marijuana-related products:

  • 1 ounce usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers)
  • 1 ounce cannabinoid extracts or concentrates (must be purchased from a licensed marijuana retailer)
  • 16 ounces cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 ounces cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 10 marijuana seeds
  • 4 immature marijuana plants

If you are on private property, then you may possess up to:

  • 8 ounces usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers)
  • 1 ounce cannabinoid extracts or concentrates
  • 16 ounces cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 ounces cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 10 marijuana seeds
  • 4 marijuana plants

It is important to note that even on private property, there may be additional restrictions that you should be aware of. For example, your landlord may have the right to prohibit any amount of marijuana from being present in the property you are renting. You must look to your lease or rental agreement to determine whether marijuana is allowed in your rented property.

Anyone 21 years or older may legally purchase marijuana from a state licensed marijuana retailer. Also, the law limits the amount of marijuana and marijuana-related products that you can purchase in a 24 hour period. A retailer may not sell you more than the following amounts at any one time or within one day:

  • 1 ounce usable marijuana (24 ounces of usable marijuana to OMMP cardholders and designated primary caregivers)
  • 5 grams cannabinoid extracts or concentrates
  • 16 ounces cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 ounces cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 10 marijuana seeds
  • 4 immature plants

You may provide marijuana to someone as a gift, but the law limits the amount that you can give. Be sure that the amount you give does not exceed the personal possession limitations described above. The law also states that in order for marijuana to count as a gift, no financial consideration must be given. This means that you cannot accept money or any other form of compensation in exchange for marijuana. This includes trades, services and even donations.

Medical Marijuana

It is important that you understand the difference in how the law in Oregon treats recreational and medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana may be purchased and possessed by anyone 21 years or older subject to certain limitations listed in the previous sections. Medical marijuana can only be purchased from a state-licensed medical marijuana retailer provided that you have a qualifying medical condition. A physician may recommend medical marijuana for treatment of the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • A degenerative or pervasive neurological condition
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces one or more of the following:
    – Cachexia (a weight-loss disease that can be caused by HIV or cancer)
    – Severe pain
    – Severe nausea
    – Seizures, including those caused by epilepsy
    – Persistent muscle spasm, including those caused by multiple sclerosis

If your physician recommends marijuana to treat your condition, you can then apply for a medical marijuana card. Once you obtain your card, you may then purchase marijuana at a state licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Purchase and possession limits for medical marijuana differ from that of recreational marijuana. An Oregon medical marijuana patient (or their caregiver) may possess or purchase at one time up to:

  • 24 ounces usable marijuana
  • 16 ounces medical cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 ounces medical cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 16 ounces cannabinoid concentrate whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system
  • Five grams cannabinoid extract whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system
  • Four immature marijuana plants
  • 50 seeds

Medical marijuana may differ from recreational marijuana in its potency. What this means is that medical marijuana may be stronger than recreational marijuana because it has been specifically designed to treat certain medical conditions. These conditions may require a stronger dosage of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) than is typically present in recreational marijuana. It is not recommended that you consume medical grade marijuana if you have not been prescribed it by your physician. Attempting to purchase medical marijuana without a valid medical marijuana card may result in fines and penalties. As with recreational marijuana, it is never legal to consume medical marijuana in public.

Traveling With Marijuana

The law in Oregon does not allow you to bring in marijuana from another state even if recreational marijuana is legal there. Similarly, you are not allowed to take marijuana from Oregon into another state. Crossing state lines with marijuana is a federal offense. What this means is that if you travel from one state to another with marijuana in your possession, then you may be charged with a federal crime. These crimes often carry stiff penalties including fines and jail time.

However, you are allowed to drive within Oregon with marijuana in your possession as long as it does not exceed the personal possession limits. If you plan to fly within the State of Oregon, the Portland International Airport will allow you to fly with the legal public possession amount (one ounce) of marijuana in your possession. However, smoking marijuana onboard the plane is strictly prohibited. If you are traveling outside of Oregon, then you will be asked to dispose of your marijuana before being allowed to carry on with your travel plans.


Ted Bernhard

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog is considered an advertisement under CA law. The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Cultiva Law, PLLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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