Oregon has a well-earned reputation for being a very cannabis-friendly state. Rightfully so: Oregon was the first state to decriminalize cannabis in 1973. Since then, cannabis in Oregon has become more commonplace than many other states. This guide will help you understand what it takes to open a cannabis business in Oregon.
Is cannabis legal in Oregon?
Medical and adult-use (recreational) cannabis is legal in Oregon. At the state level, SB-460 passed in 2015 and permits medical cannabis dispensaries to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, not just medical patients. The regulatory body overseeing Oregon’s cannabis market is the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Retailers are permitted to sell cannabis to customers in the following amounts:
- 1 oz of usable marijuana
- 5 grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates
- 16 oz of a cannabinoid product in solid form
- 72 fluid oz of a cannabinoid product in liquid form
- 10 marijuana seeds
- 4 immature plants
Please note that as of June 15, 2018, Oregon regulators have paused approving new cannabis licenses. According to the OLCC, this “pause” is so the agency can catch up on the backlog of applications that have been already submitted. This is not a cap on applications, and in time the OLCC will continue to accept cannabis license applications. The agency will announce when it has caught up on its existing inventory of submitted applications.
How to open a cannabis business in Oregon
Before we dive into the intricacies of setting up a cannabis business in Oregon, you should make sure the jurisdiction where you propose to open a cannabis business is pro-cannabis. Under Oregon law, cities and counties have the right to prohibit cannabis producers, processors, wholesalers, and/or retailers in their district. You can find the full, updated list of jurisdictions and their positions on cannabis here.
Types of Oregon Cannabis Licenses
Entrepreneurs may apply for the following license categories in Oregon:
- Producer: to plant, cultivate, grow, harvest, and dry cannabis.
- Processor: to process, compound, or convert cannabis or hemp into cannabinoid products, concentrates, and/or extracts.
- Wholesale: to purchase and sell quantities of cannabis from other licensed facilities
- Laboratory: to test cannabis items for pesticides, solvents or contaminants.
- Retail: to sell or deliver cannabis or hemp items directly to consumers.
- Research certificate: to research cannabis for the state.
To apply, you must submit the following information and pay a $250 non-refundable application fee.
- Business details: company name, physical and mailing address, and Secretary of State Number
- Funding sources: interested parties and legal entities
- Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS)
- Business Operating plan
- Floor plan of the proposed facility
- Proof of right to occupy the premises
- Other documentation depending on license type (click here to learn more)
The Secretary of State number is unique to the state of Oregon. All businesses must register with the Secretary of State to obtain a business number. The best way to expedite this process is to go through the Business Xpress site.
For more on cannabis in Oregon, read the Business Readiness Guidebook issued by the OLCC. Check out our other cannabis guides for Michigan and Oklahoma, and get in touch with our experts today for further advice.