In just five weeks, on Wednesday, July 1st, the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis will become legal in Oregon. The new law, which allows everyone 21 and older to possess up to half a pound of cannabis at a private residence (an ounce in public), will be the most progressive in the world in terms of how much cannabis an individual is allowed have in their possession.
To put it in perspective, if you’re caught with half a pound of cannabis in Washington State (anything over 40 grams), you can be charged with a class C felony, and imprisoned for up to five years (the same is true in Alaska). In Colorado, possessing half a pound is a misdemeanor with a potential year-long jail sentence.
Oregon’s new law will also allow individuals to cultivate up to four plants for personal use, and will authorized cannabis retail outlets to distribute the plant. These outlets will be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Commission, and are expected to open by summer, 2016, though some lawmakers are pushing to begin sales this year.
According to a study released in July by ECONorthwest, the price of cannabis under Measure 91 is likely to be the cheapest in the country, around $140 an ounce, far lower than the price of legal cannabis in Colorado and Washington.