Oregon’s Emergency Board approved a loan of $583,000 yesterday to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission so that it can begin implementation of an initiative approved by voters in November which legalizes the possession, private cultivation and state-licensed sales of recreational cannabis.
The money will help the Oregon Liquor Control Commission – the entity tasked with regulating the new industry – with hiring new staff, procuring legal advice and beginning outreach efforts. The goal is to have the Commission pay back the money to the state by the end of the 2015-17 budget cycle.
In November, voters approved Measure 91 with by double-digit margins, 56% to 44%. The initiative legalizes the possession of up to eight ounces and the private cultivation of four plants. The proposal also legalizes cannabis retail outlets, while leaving the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with the task of regulating the new market; for example, the Commission is to decide where cannabis can be grown and sold, how labels should be handled, etc..
Cannabis retail outlets are expected to open in Oregon by early 2016; the Commission must have regulations in place by January, 2016.