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Oregon Cannabis Laws: 2014 Measure 91 & 2015 HB 3400, Diced, Sliced, and Shredded


When Oregon Laws are codified*, they can be scattered all over their corresponding legislative subject compilation, the Oregon Revised Statutes, so, unless you are a researcher with too much time on your hands, I recommend you start with one of the following resources until you become very familiar with all the new cannabis laws, statutes AND regulations – and there will be new cannabis laws until you die or until the world’s lights go out, whichever comes first:

1) Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS): the 2015 ORS, which has not yet been posted online, will be the first ORS with codified recreational cannabis statutes. Toss the word “cannabis” into the ORS search box. You might want to toss in the word “marijuana” just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

2) Laws & Regs from OHA: Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), which links to their OMMP Administrative Rules, Statutes and Legal Information webpage.

3) Laws & Regs from OLCC: Oregon Recreational Marijuana, which links to, among other legal treasures, their Recreational Marijuana Laws and Rules webpage.

4) I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that just about each and every city and county in Oregon can also make laws about cannabis sales. See, e.g.Portland Policy Program or Tualatin or Gresham. To find your city’s or county’s laws or if these links break, search your city’s name and the words Oregon cannabis marijuana.

5) There are also federal laws, statutes and regulations, which the states ignore as they please, or not when they don’t please. Federal statutes and administrative laws about marijuana and other controlled substances, and related tax, banking, and insurance laws need to researched at federal government websites, e.g. this one and this one. You can research the U.S. Code and the CFR (including Executive Orders) from this GPO website, FDSYS. (You will need a full-text, searchable case law database to search for cases from the U.S. courts.)

More legal research tidbits for those who care:

Legislative and Measure Histories:

1) 2014 Measure 91 was a citizen initiative, so its original documents will be with the Secretary of State.

2) 2015 HB 3400 was a Legislative measure, so you will find most of its written and audio legislative history at the Legislature’s OLIS website.

3) Caselaw, courtesy of the Judiciary: Don’t forget there will also be a fast growing body of case law interpreting cannabis statutes and regulations, which will lead to more legislation and regulations, which will lead to more case law …. You will need a full-text legal database for this research, e.g. Fastcase, which all Oregonians have free access to via the State Law Library. (Direct link to the State of Oregon Law Library resources webpage.)

4) Last, mostly, don’t forget to research the regulations, compiled in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), also at the Secretary of State’s website. You will need to learn how the OAR is updated if you want to track new Rules.

*Codification is, in a knobby nutshell, the process of turning the session law, which is compiled chronologically and published in Oregon Laws, into the subject-compilation known as the Oregon Revised Statutes. (I have blogged a lot about codification and session law vs. codes.)

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