Recreational marijuana sales began in Oregon on Oct. 1, joining Washington and Colorado in allowing the drug’s sale statewide.
Recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon on July 1, but sales were put on hold for a three-month period while lawmakers discussed oversight, according to KOIN 6 News.
“It’s going to be extremely busy,” Shango Premium Cannabis co-owner Shane McKee told KOIN of the incoming business.
Over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon were given the green light to begin recreational sales on Oct. 1.
“The whole team has been preparing a couple of years for this,” he added.
The state originally planned to begin recreational sales in 2016, but ultimately decided on an earlier start.
“The early start was a little bit of a surprise for us,” McKee said. “We thought we had until third quarter next year, and here we are third quarter this year.”
Sales of marijuana will begin on a tax-free basis while the state prepares to regulate the drug -- and to curb black market sales. The state will begin regulation next year.
“This is something that’s happening in mainstream society,” Leah Maurer, organizer of Normalize Marijuana, said. “This is about breaking down stereotypes and preconceived notions that people might have about marijuana users.”
Maurer admitted that the law’s implementation will be an adjustment for people throughout the state.
“Even if it’s not something you agree with, or not something that you choose to use or that you are comfortable being around, it’s still an important time,” she added. “We, as citizens of Oregon, are going to be walking this walk of new recreational, legal marijuana sales together.”
Adults over the age of 21 can buy up to a quarter ounce of marijuana, as long as provide a valid, government-issued photo I.D. as proof of age. Marijuana edibles, as well as extracts, concentrates, and other marijuana-infused products, will not be available during the early sales.