PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Less than one day after Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana, businesses are putting into place the plans they’ve already made.
Shane McKee, the co-owner of the Shango Cannabis medical marijuana facility, told KOIN 6 News it will take time to work out the details for retailing pot.
“We anticipate it taking about a year for the administrative rules to be put together,” he said. “I think the main efforts will be focused on the production of edibles and other infused products, as well as putting regulations in place for cultivation.”
McKee said his store has been preparing for this eventuality for months. Among the issues is the taxation of pot, and McKee said Oregon “has done a good job of creating a tax to not price it out. We will do everything we can to not only compete (with) but remove the black market.”
Oregon’s new law includes the provision purchasers must be 21 or older.
Measure 91 as its written is quite a bit different from the laws in Washington and Colorado.
Once it passed, it set people like Rep. Earl Blumenauer and officials at the OLCC into motion.
“We’ve been educating ourselves and monitoring this, but it is a new animal,” OLCC Chairman Rob Partridge told KOIN 6 News.
Patridge said the first thing OLCC will do is work up a budget and get funding to implement Measure 91. They will also reach out to local communities for input.
“We want to hear what they want from implementation standpoints,” Partridge said. “We want to hear from local government, we want to hear from schools, we want to hear from public safety community, but we also need to hear from growers and retailers.”
Blumenauer also said they have time to put the administration of Measure 91 into place.
“We have a year in Oregon. The bill was written very well,” the congressman said. “In fact, some people are surprised that it’s not legal tomorrow or the day after. It’s going to be 18 months.”
That’s roughly the amount of time until stores with OLCC-issued licenses will open. But next July, possessing marijuana — up to an ounce in public and eight ounces at home — becomes legal.
Until then, the Portland police said little will change about how they deal with the drug.
“It’s been a very low law enforcement priority for a very long time,” a PPB spokesperson said.
They said they will wait for guidance from the Portland city attorney on what the new law means.
Now that it’s here, it’s up to the OLCC to efficiently create a revenue stream and prioritize public safety.
“Protecting kids is very important,” Partridge said. “The edibles piece is usually important. All those things, we’ve been able to see the sins of the past. We’re going to be able to remedy what we do to those.”
Blumenauer said Oregon’s efforts will “help us change the national policy.”
KOIN 6 News reporter Elishah Oesch contributed to this report.