Equity Project State Briefing
Is Cannabis Legal in Oregon?
Cannabis in Oregon is legal for both medical and adult use.
Date of Legalization
Cannabis in Oregon is legal for both medical and adult use. In 1973, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize cannabis. Oregon legalized the medical use of cannabis in 1998 through the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. In 2014, voters approved Measure 91 legalizing non-medical cultivation and uses of marijuana in Oregon starting July 1, 2015.
Oregon cannabis laws and regulations can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/Pages/Recreational-Marijuana-Laws-and-Rules.aspx
Within Oregon’s adult use framework, adults 21+ may possess, within their home, up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana, 4 home grown plants, 16oz of solid infused cannabis, 72oz of liquid cannabis, and 16oz of concentrate or 1 ounce of extract purchased from a retailer. Adults may share with other 21+ adults, outside of their home, up to 1 ounce of usable cannabis. Within the medical framework, a patient or caregiver may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana and 6 mature plants unless the individual has a felony conviction for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in which case they may only possess 1 ounce of usable marijuana at any given time for a period of five years from the date of the conviction.
Other Licensing Provisions
- License Caps:
Oregon does not impose licensing caps, however local jurisdictions can opt out of participating in the adult use sector.
Application Selection Process
- Selection System:
Oregon distributes adult-use cannabis licenses based on merit.
Felony Disqualification on Ownership
- Ownership Exclusion for Felony Convictions:
- Exemption for Cannabis Offenses:
In Oregon, the commission may deny an applicant a cannabis business license if they do not have a “good moral character” or if they have a criminal conviction that is substantially related to the fitness and ability of the applicant to lawfully carry out activities under the license. Cannabis possession convictions can not be considered. Certain convictions for the manufacture or delivery of cannabis cannot be considered after two years.
Employee Criminal Records
- Conviction Restrictions for Employees:
- Exemption for Cannabis Offenses:
An individual who performs work for or on behalf of a licensee must have a valid [work]permit, which requires a background check. If the Commission denies an application due to their criminal history, the individual will not be eligible for a permit for two years from the date the Commission received the application. The commission may refuse to issue or renew a [work] permit if the individual who is applying
(a) Has been convicted of a felony for possession, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance within three years of the date the Commission received the application.
(b) Has been convicted of an offense under Oregon’s Recreational Use of Cannabis statute within two years of the date of application or renewal; ( ORS 475B.010 to 475B.545)
(c) Has been convicted of a felony for a crime involving violence within three years of the date the Commission received the application;
(d) Has been convicted of a felony for a crime of dishonesty or deception, including but not limited to theft, fraud, or forgery, within three years of the date the Commission received the application;
(e) Has been convicted of a felony for a crime involving a firearm, within three years of the date the Commission received the application;
(f) Has more than one conviction for any of the crimes listed in subsections (a) to (e) of this section within five years of the date the Commission received the application;
(g) Has violated any provision of Oregon’s Recreational Use of Cannabis statutes ( ORS 475B.010 to 475B.545).
Availability of Expungements
Oregon offers record cleaning options for qualifying cannabis convictions, however the process is not automatic.Under SB 420 Individuals with convictions committed before July 1, 2015 for marijuana possession of less than 1 oz, who have fully served the sentence, may apply for set-aside their conviction. Under SB 975, a person may file a motion to reduce the offense classification of a marijuana conviction if, since the conviction, the offense has been reduced and the person has fully served the sentence.