Oregon voted to legalize non-medical marijuana in 2014, two years after Colorado and Washington. Total sales exceeded $1B in 2020.
Legalization Dates:Medical: 1998 via Measure 67
Adult-Use: 2014 via Measure 91
Relevant Legislation:The Medical Marijuana Act is codified beginning at ORS 475.300. Administrative rules can be found at OAR 333-008-0000. These laws were also amended by HB3400 (2014).
SB460 (2015) – Law allowing adult sales at medical marijuana dispensaries
HB3400 (2015) – Law allowing adult-use sales as approved by Measure 91
Source: Oregon State Bar guide to Marijuana and Hemp Law
Regulatory Bodies:Oregon Health Authority/Oregon Medical Marijuana Program
Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)
Licensing Model:The OLCC issues 7 types of licenses – Producer, Processor, Wholesale, Laboratory, Retail, Research Certificate. The OLCC has no quota for the number of retail licenses issued.
Example Firms: Nectar Markets (28 Oregon locations, over 210 Oregon employees), Golden Leaf Holdings, operating as Chalice Brands (12 Oregon locations, over 149 Oregon employees), Wyld (3 Oregon locations, 126 Oregon employees), Oregrown Industries (4 Oregon locations, 110 Oregon employees). Source: Portland Business Journal, April 2020.
Industry Associations & Other GroupsCannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon (CIA) formed from merger of Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA), Oregon Industry Progress Association (OIPA), and FARMS. Oregon Cannabis Association (OCA), Oregon Cannabis Business Council (OCBC) is now defunct. NuLeaf Project is an innovative Oregon-based organization helping Black and Brown people thrive in the legal cannabis industry.
Market Characteristics:Oregon law grants cities and counties the opportunity to prohibit marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and/or retailers in their jurisdiction. Local governments are required to refer ordinances banning recreational marijuana to voters at the next general election.*
Market Size:Oregon’s recreational cannabis market featured over 500 dispensaries currently operating across the state as of May 2020. The Oregon recreational marijuana sales hit a new record high of $89 million in April 2020. As of the fourth quarter of 2019, the Oregon industry was estimated to employ about 7,000 people (source).

Since 2019, Oregon has attracted significant national attention for a supposed extreme surplus of cultivated cannabis, attributed to having a more open licensing model for cultivators. A January 2020 article provides an alternative and less alarmist view on Oregon’s supply.
Articles:Oregon Marijuana Audit: Everything is All Messed Up and Also Just Fine (Cannalawblog, Feb 15, 2019)
Oregon Has So Much Extra Weed, It Wants To Export It To California (Green Entrepreneur, Jan 29, 2019)
As of June 21, 2022
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