How Much Weed Can You Get From One Seed

In Oregon, it's legal for adults 21 and older to possess and use recreational marijuana… with limits. Crucial marijuana laws you need to know in Oregon state. Count on Gleam Law to a trusted source of up-to-date information on cannabis legal developments. Before you bust out the weed thinking that marijuana is fully legal, you should know your rights. We’ve got a rundown of what you can – and can’t – do under Virginia’s new laws.

Educate Before You Recreate

In Oregon, it’s legal for adults 21 and older to purchase, possess and use recreational marijuana…but there are limits.*

You can possess, use and buy recreational marijuana if you are 21 and older. If you are younger, it’s illegal.

What is the legal age to use recreational marijuana?

You can possess, use and buy recreational marijuana if you are 21 and older. If you are younger, it’s illegal.

Recreational users of legal age may purchase seeds, immature marijuana plants, cannabinoid products, and useable marijuana from licensed OLCC retailers. And are allowed 4 marijuana plants per household.

Recreational marijuana cannot be used in public, even by those of legal age.

Employers and landlords retain the right to restrict use, even by those of legal age:

  • Legalization did not affect employment law. Check with your employer regarding their rules and restrictions regarding marijuana use
  • Check with your landlord regarding their rules about using marijuana, growing marijuana, or making goods containing marijuana in their home or property.

Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

OLCC-licensed retail stores may sell marijuana to recreational users or OMMP patients. You may also grow your own or receive it as a gift.

How can I get recreational marijuana if I’m of legal age?

Adults 21 and older can purchase recreational marijuana from an OLCC-licensed retail establishments, share or give away recreational marijuana, or grow their own (up to 4 plants per household).

But there are limits.

Purchasing limits for recreational users:

Recreational users of legal age may purchase seeds, immature marijuana plants, cannabinoid products, and useable marijuana from OLCC-licensed retailer. A retailer may not sell more than the following amounts to a customer at any one time or within one day:

  • 1 ounce usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers)
    • 24 ounces of usable marijuana to OMMP cardholders and designated primary caregivers

    Growing limits for recreational users:

    If you’re 21 and older, you can grow up to 4 plants. (If you do not own your home, be sure to check with your landlord regarding their rules about using marijuana, growing marijuana, or making goods containing marijuana in their home or property.)

    Gifting limits for recreational users:

    Gifting of recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older is allowed, so long as the amount gifted falls within the personal possession limits and no financial consideration is associated with the transfer.

    Financial consideration includes: cover charges, admission, donations, tip jars, raffles, fundraiser events, purchase required, barter or sales. It is considered the same as selling marijuana when money, goods or services are exchanged directly or indirectly for marijuana.

    Gifting of extracts purchased from a licensed retailer is allowed, but not homemade extracts (as homemade extracts are not allowed under personal possession laws).

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    There are limits to how much recreational marijuana you may possess, both in public or in private.

    How much recreational marijuana may I possess if I’m of legal age?

    There are limits to the amount of marijuana and marijuana products that adults 21 and older may possess at any one time.

    PUBLIC possession limits for recreational users:

    Recreational users of legal age may possess the following amount of marijuana and marijuana products while in public:

    • 1 ounce usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers)
    • 1 ounce cannabinoid extracts or concentrates (must be purchased from a licensed marijuana retailer)
    • 16 ounces cannabinoid product in solid form
    • 72 ounces cannabinoid product in liquid form
    • 10 marijuana seeds; AND
    • 4 immature marijuana plants.

    PRIVATE possession limits for recreational users:

    Recreational users of legal age may possess the following amount of marijuana and marijuana products on private property:

    • 8 ounces usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers)
    • 1 ounce cannabinoid extracts or concentrates (must be purchased from a licensed marijuana retailer)
    • 16 ounces cannabinoid product in solid form
    • 72 ounces cannabinoid product in liquid form
    • 10 marijuana seeds; AND
    • 4 marijuana plants

    There are additional restrictions to consider:

    Landlords possess the right to restrict the use and growth of marijuana on their property. Check with your landlord regarding their rules about using marijuana, growing marijuana, or making goods containing marijuana in their home or property.

    The use, growing, transportation and possession of marijuana on federal property (including Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service land) remains prohibited.

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    Gifting and giveaways by individuals is allowed, but may not include any financial consideration.

    What are the limits on gifting and giveaways?

    Gifting of recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older is allowed, so long as the amount gifted falls within the personal possession limits and no financial consideration associated with the transfer.

    Financial consideration includes: cover charges, admission, donations, tip jars, raffles, fundraiser events, purchase required, barter or sales. It is considered the same as selling marijuana when money, goods or services are exchanged directly or indirectly for marijuana.

    Gifting of extracts purchased from a licensed retailer is allowed, but not homemade extracts (as homemade extracts are not allowed under personal possession laws).

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    What’s Legal?

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. Please be responsible.

    Can I drive when I’ve used marijuana?

    Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) refers to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or drugged, including impairment from the use of marijuana.

    Please be responsible.

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    Adults 21 and older can use recreational marijuana at home or on private property. You can’t use recreational marijuana in public places.

    Where can I use recreational marijuana?

    Adults 21 and older can use recreational marijuana at home or on private property. You can’t use recreational marijuana in public places.

    Public places are places to which the general public has access. This includes, but is not limited to: common areas in apartments and hotels; highways and streets; schools; parks and playgrounds; premises used for public passenger transportation (such as bus stops); and amusement parks.

    A good rule of thumb: If someone outside of your home can see you, you’re probably in public.

    Bars and restaurants
    OLCC rules prohibit any marijuana consumption at a premise with a liquor license. Allowing marijuana use may put an establishment’s liquor license in jeopardy. In addition, smoking and vaping in most businesses is limited by the Indoor Clean Air Act.

    Landlord-owned residences
    Landlords possess the right to restrict the use and growth of marijuana on their property. Check with your landlord regarding their rules about using marijuana, growing marijuana, or making goods containing marijuana in their home or property.

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    You cannot take marijuana in or out of the state, even to other states where it is legal.

    Can I travel with recreational marijuana?

    You can’t buy marijuana in another state and bring it into Oregon, nor can you take it from Oregon across state lines. That includes to and from Washington and California where recreational marijuana is also legal. Taking marijuana across state lines is a federal offense.

    Driving within the state of Oregon:
    If you are 21 or older, you may drive with marijuana in your vehicle within the legal possession limits.

    Flying within the state of Oregon:
    The Portland International Airport does allow airline passengers flying within the state to board with the legal public possession amount (1 ounce) of marijuana on them. However, smoking marijuana onboard the plane is strictly prohibited.

    If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finds marijuana on a passenger, they’ll notify airport police, who will confirm that the passenger is not exceeding the 1 ounce legal limit for public possession, the passenger’s age, and the boarding pass destination to make sure they are flying to a destination within the state. Travelers who are traveling outside of the state will be asked to dispose of the marijuana before being allowed to carry on with their travel plans.

    Still illegal on federal land:
    The use, growing, transportation and possession of marijuana on federal property (including Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service land) is prohibited.

    Tribal land is sovereign and rules may be different:
    Federally recognized Indian Reservations possess the right to enter into agreements with the State of Oregon to grow and sell marijuana on their reservations, but they may also disallow possession and use on their sovereign land. Be sure to check local restrictions before traveling to or through Tribal land with marijuana.

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    Oregon is committed to creating a well regulated industry, and to preventing underage marijuana use.

    How will a well-regulated industry impact Oregon?

    To create a well-regulated and prosperous industry, the State of Oregon has enacted several safeguards and structures that both support businesses and also seek to protect people and communities. These include:

    • Oversight and monitoring for each “link” of the supply chain, from seed to sale.
    • Establishing limits for possession, sales and public consumption (and allowing local communities to opt-out of the market).
    • Creating product testing, packaging and labeling requirements and other protections for consumers.
    • Enforcing child-resistant packaging regulations to keep marijuana out of the hands of children.
    • Developing a youth prevention campaign to discourage underage use. (For more information regarding youth marijuana prevention please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s Stay True to You campaign website.)

    Please share this information with someone you know. Some aspects of the law are still being determined. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or find us online. www.facebook.com/whatslegalOR | @whatslegalOR

    If you have a question that’s not answered here, take a look at the full list of FAQs or contact OLCC staff. We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now. Additional information is available at marijuana.oregon.gov.

    *DISCLAIMER: Employers, landlords and licensing bodies maintain discretion to enforce their own regulations as far as the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by employees, tenants and licensees. Federally recognized Tribes are subject to their own governance and may or may not permit marijuana on their sovereign land. Marijuana is not allowed on federal land.

    Please share this information with people you know

    Some aspects of the law are still being determined.
    To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter or connect with us.

    Contact

    Thank you for learning about Oregon’s recreational marijuana laws.

    If you have a question, take a look at the full list of FAQs. If it’s not answered there, you can email us at [email protected] We’ll do our best to get you the information you need based on what we know now.

    And if you learned something new, please be sure to share it with people you know.

    Media Room

    If you’re a member of the media, please contact:

    Mark Pettinger

    Marijuana Public Affairs
    Oregon Liquor Control Commission
    503-872-5115
    [email protected]

    Share

    Thank you for learning more about what’s legal as it relates to Oregon’s new recreational marijuana laws. Now that you’re in the know, please share this information with others.

    Here are 3 quick and easy ways you can share what’s legal and what’s not.

    1. Share what you’ve learned on your social channels. Spread the information to your networks – and check out What’s Legal?’s social channels, too:

    2. Download and print a poster. Consider hanging it in high-traffic areas like your employee break room or kitchen, at an event or in your place of business.

    3. Display a digital web badge on your website to direct others to this information.

    If you manage a website, you can use this code to display the web badge:

    Here are a few other materials, in case they might be helpful:

    • Fact sheet
    • Poster (16×20)
      • English: Color | Black & White
      • Español: Color | Blanco y Negro
      • Video

      Social cards (Download these “social cards” — which highlight each of the rules individually — and share the facets of the law that are most important to you. Don’t forget to always link back to whatslegaloregon.com where people can learn even more.)

      Oregon Cannabis Laws

      Measure 91 (M91) allows any individual over the age of 21 to grow, purchase, and possess cannabis in limited quantities. There is no residency requirement to purchase, possess, or use marijuana, nor are non-residents prohibited from owning and operating OLCC licensed cannabis businesses. Public consumption remains illegal, though the Oregon State legislature will be considering public consumption during the 2019 legislative session.

      The OLCC is designated to oversee and regulate recreational cannabis businesses. The OLCC has the responsibility to issue and monitor six types of licenses. They also have the authority suspend or revoke these licenses for noncompliance with state law or OLCC rules.

      Measure 91 establishes taxation rates based upon the sale volume of flowers, leaves, and plants. Subsequently, the taxation rate was changed to 17% for all sales, with an option for local city and county government to impose an additional 3%. Tax revenue from cannabis sales is distributed between the common school fund, mental health, alcoholism and drug services, cities and counties, law enforcement, and alcohol and drug prevention and treatment services.

      Which Cities and Counties Prohibit Cannabis Sales?

      The private sale of cannabis and its byproducts is illegal throughout the state, and 95 cities and counties that prohibit the sale of marijuana from licensed marijuana retailers. The full list can be found on the OLCC website at: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/Documents/Cities_Counties_RMJOptOut.pdf

      Age Limits

      A person must be 21 years old, with proper identification, or 18 years old with a medical marijuana program card to purchase, possess or consume cannabis products in Oregon. An individual must also be 21 or older to enter into any licensed hemp or cannabis facility, with very limited exceptions. Proper identification includes a passport, driver’s license, military ID card, or any other state issued identification that includes a person’s name, picture, physical description, and date of birth.

      How Much Cannabis Can You Buy in Oregon?

      The following are amounts of recreational cannabis products that can be purchased by any person over 21 with proper identification in any single day. There is no Oregon residency requirement for cannabis sales, but all cannabis products sold in Oregon must be consumed in Oregon.

      Purchase limits for recreational user:

      • 1 ounce of flower
      • 5 grams of concentrate or extracts
      • 16 ounces of edibles in solid form
      • 72 ounces of edibles in liquid form
      • 10 cannabis seeds
      • 4 immature plants

      Purchase limits for OMMP cardholders:

      • 24 ounces of usable marijuana (1 ounce from a recreational dispensary)
      • 16 ounces of a medical cannabis product in solid form
      • 72 ounces of medical cannabis product in liquid form
      • 16 ounces of a cannabis concentrate (alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system)
      • 50 cannabis seed
      • 4 immature plants

      * Medical patients have access to medical grade products if available.

      Personal Growing Limits

      Oregon is one of the few states that currently allows for personal cultivation of cannabis. A household can grow up to a total of 4 plants on their private property. The 4 plant limit is a household limit regardless of the number of adults living in the household. OMMP cardholders can have 6 mature plants, 12 immature plants 24 inches or taller. and 36 immature plants under 24 inches.

      Plants can be grown inside or outside; if grown outside, the plants must be out of public view. Some cities or counties restrict the sale of recreational marijuana, but this restriction does not limit household growing. Homegrown cannabis is for personal consumption only and cannot be sold or given to someone in exchange for something of value.

      The ability to grow your own cannabis plants is not absolute: If you are leasing your home, the landlord can restrict the property from being used in the cultivation of cannabis. Federal law prohibits growing the plant within 1,000 feet of a school, even if it is on private property. While growing at home is legal, processing the plant into a concentrate without a state-compliant facility is illegal and could be dangerous.

      Cannabis Use Restrictions

      While it is legal to possess cannabis in almost any location in the state, the use/consumption of cannabis in Oregon is restricted to private property. Use includes smoking, vaping, eating, or drinking a cannabis product. Private property includes personal residences and may include temporary lodging such as hotels, provided that it is permitted by the property owner. However, public areas of a hotel or apartment complex include hallways, lobbies, or pools. There is no public consumption or consumption on property that is open to the public, such as such as streets, sidewalks, parks, bars or restaurants at the time of this publishing. It is being considered for the 2019 legislative session.

      Under federal law, it is illegal to possess or consume cannabis and this restriction specifically applies to all federal property. This is an important restriction because the federal government owns more than 50% of the land in Oregon. Examples of federal property in Oregon include federal buildings, national parks, national forests, wildlife areas, and BLM lands.

      Transporting Cannabis And Its Derivatives

      It is legal to carry these products throughout the state, including in a vehicle or on public transportation, unless it otherwise precluded by such areas as federal land within the state. It is also perfectly legal to carry marijuana on commercial airlines traveling between Klamath Falls and Portland. Transporting across state lines is illegal, even if you are transporting it to a state that has also legalized marijuana such as California or Washington. Just remember: Oregon marijuana must stay in Oregon.

      Driving While High

      Oregon has strict laws regarding driving under the influence of an intoxicant, DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, also known as a DUI). Oregon DUII laws are applied in the same manner with alcohol or marijuana–both are considered intoxicants. For a first offence DUII, a diversion program may be available if the offender was not involved in an accident. This program allows the offender to complete a substance abuse program and be on probation for a period of time. If he successfully completes the diversion program, the DUII charge is dropped and the person will not have a DUII conviction on their record. If it is a second offence, or the offender is not eligible for the diversion program, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 2 days plus substantial fines and the offender must complete a substance abuse program. It is also illegal to consume marijuana in a vehicle even if you are not impaired, similar to open container laws.

      Unlike alcohol, there is currently no breathalyzer test for the presence of thc in the blood, but police have drug recognition evaluators conduct tests to determine if a driver is impaired. If the tests suspect a driver is under the influence, Oregon implied consent laws allow police to conduct breath, blood, or urine tests to obtain evidence of drug use.

      If you choose to use, make sure to allow enough time for the effect to completely wear off before you drive.

      Illegal Acts Related to Cannabis

      While Oregon has legalized the recreational use of cannabis, there are limits to what is allowed. Below is a sample of what remains illegal in Oregon:

      • Selling or providing cannabis to minors (anyone under the age of 21, or 18 with an OMMP card)
      • Transporting cannabis across state lines, including to states where cannabis is legal
      • Unlicensed growing, processing, transporting, or sales of cannabis

      OLCC and the Cannabis Industry in Oregon

      The OLCC oversees six license types; producer, processor, wholesaler, retailer, laboratory, and research licenses. Once products get into the OLCC system, they can only be transferred between OLCC licensed facilities, until they are sold to the end user by a retailer or destroyed, and must be recorded in the Cannabis Tracking System, METRC, which provides seed-to-sale tracking. OLCC rules limit how product can flow between license types and licensees.

      The OLCC has regulatory authority of all aspects of the recreational cannabis market, including:

      • Product Testing for contaminants, such as pesticides, solvents, and potency
      • Packaging and Labeling
      • Security systems
      • Operational procedures

      The OLCC provides strict regulatory oversight by means of scheduled visits, surprise inspections, and third-party complaints to trigger investigations. The OLCC has authority to issue violations with sanctions including fines, license suspension, or license revocation.

      The Oregon Medicinal Marijuana Program (OMMP) is administered by the OHA. The OHA licenses and regulates medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries. Cannabis grown or processed under the OMMP program can only be sold to OMMP patients. There are certain exceptions that allow growers and processors to sell products to a recreational licensed facility.

      To become an OMMP patient, an individual must be at least 18 years old and have a qualifying condition and a recommendation for using medicinal canabis from their attending physician. OMMP patients are issued medical cards that allow them to purchase cannabis from a medical marijuana dispensary. They can also purchase medical or recreational cannabis tax-free from a recreational cannabis retailer.

      The OMMP program is currently in severe decline. In the past year, the number of medical patients has dropped approximately by half and there only 5 OMMP licensed dispensaries, down from about 400 at the peak of the medical program.

      Industrial Hemp Regulations

      Traditionally, industrial hemp was used for making rope, clothing, and sails for boats, among other products. Now hemp is primarily used to make cannabidiol (CBD) oils. Many people believe that CBD oil has substantial medical benefits such as pain management and reducing swelling. These properties have not been tested by the Food and Drug Administration and the FDA takes the position that no CBD is legal except for the pharmaceutical drug Epidiolex. The FDA has not conducted widespread enforcement action and most CBD products are sold in the market without substantial opposition or testing.

      Industrial hemp is defined as the plant Cannabis Sativa with a THC level of less than 0.3%. Industrial hemp in Oregon is regulated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (the ODA). The ODA issues two type of permits: 1) a grower permit and; 2) a handler permit. These permits are substantially easier and cheaper to obtain as compared to OLCC licenses, and there are much fewer restrictions. If the samples exceed the THC limit, the product must be destroyed. Similarly, processed hemp is required to be tested for THC levels prior to sale. Once the processed hemp is sold by a processor it is considered an agricultural commodity and is not further regulated by the ODA.

      Because industrial hemp and cannabis are the same plant species, there is naturally confusion under federal law. In 2014, Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill which included provisions for industrial hemp. The Farm Bill defines hemp in the same way as Oregon and allows states to grow industrial hemp for experimental purposes under the supervision of a university or a state department of agriculture. Oregon’s industrial hemp program was created under the 2014 Farm Bill.

      The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not differentiate industrial hemp from recreational cannabis, so hemp and marijuana are treated the same: both are illegal. The CSA does have an exemption for dried mature stalks and sterilized seeds, but there is no economically significant amount of CBD in these parts of the plant, so they are only good for rope and ship sails. This inconsistency in federal law creates confusion and a potential problem for exporting CBD oil out of Oregon or the country. Congress recognizes this issue and the Senate’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill would fix the problem by legalizing industrial hemp. As of this writing, the House version of the bill does not include hemp legalization, but the hemp legalization portion of the Senate’s version, backed strongly by Mitch McConnell and other senate republicans, is widely expected to be passed in the final version of the bill. In addition, the omnibus spending bill they included a provision that prohibits the Department of Justice from using budgetary funds from prosecuting industrial hemp activities conducted in compliance with state industrial hemp pilot programs developed under the 2014 Farm Bill.

      History of Cannabis In Oregon

      Prior to 1935, cannabis was legal in Oregon. In 1935 Oregon adopted the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act. This Act made the possession, production, and distribution of any narcotic a crime. The Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act is the precursor to the Controlled Substances Act.

      In 1973, Oregon became the first US State to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis for personal use. It was still a crime possess over an ounce or to sell cannabis.

      In 1998, Oregon approved its use for individuals for certain qualifying medical conditions. Medically qualified patients could possess up to three mature cannabis plants or could contract for someone to grow them on their behalf.

      In 2005, Oregon created the current medical card program and allowed the patient to reimburse their growers for certain growing expenses. They also increased the allowable limit to 24 ounces of usable cannabis and six plants. In 2012, Oregon created a medical registry system which permitted medical marijuana dispensaries by state-issued license.

      In 2014, Oregon became the third state to legalize the personal use of cannabis, under ballot measure 91. While it would take another few months for Oregon’s recreational marijuana program to fully take effect, under emergency legislation, medical dispensaries were permitted to sell medical cannabis to recreational customer beginning October 1, 2015.

      In 2016, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (the OLCC) began issuing licenses to recreational facilities. By January 2017, only OLCC licensed facilities could sell to the recreational market.

      Hemp and Cannabis – Legal Status

      While the majority of states have legalized medical or recreational use of cannabis, federal law criminalizes cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. In 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice issued a series of memos written by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole. These memos (known as the First and Second Cole Memos) recognized the DOJ’s inability to prosecute all drug crimes, so they establish eight enforcement priorities. In the event that a state legal activity did not implicate one of the priorities, it would be unlikely that the DOJ would prosecute, however, the DOJ made no guarantees. In 2018, the U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III rescinded the Cole Memos. The revocation was generally considered a repudiation of the cannabis industry. In practice, the revocation put the decision to prosecute state legal activities in the hands of the local U.S. Attorney in each respective region. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, Billy Williams, has publicly announced his priorities for prosecuting cannabis activities, and his priorities are very similar to the Cole Memo Priorities.

      Hazy about the new marijuana laws? Know your rights.

      Before you bust out the weed thinking that marijuana is fully legal, you should know your rights. We’ve got a rundown of what you can – and can’t – do under Virginia’s new laws.

      UPDATE: There have been several changes to Virginia’s marijuana laws since the time this blog post was written. For the most up-to-date guide on marijuana law, please visit Marijuana Justice’s Know Your Rights page.

      Today is 4/20, an unofficial marijuana holiday that many people celebrate by lighting one up. Any day now, the governor will sign an historic bill making marijuana legal in Virginia. It marks the beginning of the end of the failed War on Drugs that disproportionately polices and incarcerates Black and Brown people.

      Before you bust out the weed thinking that marijuana is fully legal, you should know your rights. We’ve got a rundown of what you can – and can’t – do under Virginia’s new laws.

      What exactly is legal?

      Starting July 1 of this year, it will be legal for adults 21 and older to carry less than one ounce of marijuana in public.

      You cannot legally be penalized for carrying marijuana as you go about your daily business, as long as it’s under an ounce. How much is that? Check out Leafly’s visual guide to weed quantities.

      There will be consequences if you get caught holding more than one ounce in public. If you get caught with more than one ounce but less than one pound, you’ll have to pay up to a $25 civil penalty. Do not ever carry more than one pound. If you get caught, you could get one to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

      It is also illegal for anyone at any age to bring marijuana onto school grounds. The punishment is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which could result in up to six months of jailtime and up to a $1,000 fine, not to mention the burdensome consequences of a criminal record.

      Okay, so you’re saying it’s legal for adults over 21 to smoke marijuana in public?

      No. The law distinguishes between possession and use, even though they’re just one step away from each other. It is illegal to smoke or consume weed in public. It is also illegal to offer marijuana to someone else, whether they accept it or not. Giving marijuana to a minor in any situation has criminal consequences. The only thing that is legal is having less than one ounce with you, but it has to stay in your pocket or bag.

      If caught using or giving marijuana to another person in public, you will face a range of penalties. For your first offense, you will pay up to a $25 fine. For your second offense, you’ll be required to pay another fine and enter a substance abuse treatment and education program. For your third offense, you will be charged a Class 4 misdemeanor, which will result in a $250 fine.

      When can I legally buy recreational marijuana?

      Legal sales of recreational marijuana will not begin until January 1, 2024. Starting then, only adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally purchase and use recreational marijuana.

      What’s taking so long? The state still has to establish the new industry’s rules and regulations and set up the Cannabis Control Authority, which will enforce those rules and regulations. Lawmakers delayed deciding on important questions about how to administer business licenses and whether local governments will have the power to prohibit retail marijuana stores from setting up shop in their jurisdiction. These decisions will be made over the next couple years before the legal market begins on January 1, 2024.

      I’m under 21. Is it legal for me to use marijuana?

      No. If you’re under the age of 21, it’s illegal to have or use any amount of marijuana. If you get caught with it, you will be required to pay up to a $25 fine and enter a substance abuse treatment and education program.

      If you’re under 18 and caught with marijuana, the consequences could be even worse. At the very least, you’ll be fined and required to enter a substance abuse program. Juvenile court will also treat you as “delinquent,” which, depending on the circumstances, could subject you to a range of additional punishments.

      Under Virginia law, courts can legally put you on probation, suspend your driver’s license, fine you up to $500, make your parents participate in a substance abuse program, and even take custody away from your parent or guardian. Judges have a huge amount of discretion and can turn your simple marijuana case into something much worse.

      What does the law say about marijuana in cars and vehicles?

      It’s complicated. Basically, there are still several offenses in the new law that allow police to stop and arrest you. Bottom line: Never use marijuana in a car or vehicle. It’s illegal whether you’re the driver or a passenger.

      Do your best to not even bring marijuana with you on the road. If you must, keep it in the trunk. Having an “open container” of marijuana like a plastic bag, jar, or Tupperware anywhere in the vehicle will give law enforcement reason to presume you consumed it while driving, which is punishable by a misdemeanor and up to $250 fine.

      If you drive a commercial motor vehicle like a truck, bus, trailer or taxi, keeping marijuana anywhere inside is punishable by a $25 fine.

      If you’re a school bus driver or driver for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, it is illegal to have or use marijuana under any circumstance. Violating this law will potentially get you jailtime and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in fines.

      Can I grow marijuana in my home?

      Yes, with certain limits. Starting July 1 of this year, each household can legally cultivate up to four plants. Notice the limit is per household, not person. So if you live with roommates, the total number of plants you can grow collectively is still four. Exceeding this limit comes with escalating penalties, from a $250 fine for growing five to ten plants, to misdemeanor and felony charges for above that.

      If you home grow, you must make sure your plants are not visible to the public or accessible to minors. The law does not specify what preventative measures you should take or how penalties will be enforced.

      Home growers must also tag each of their plants with their name, driver’s license or state ID number, and notation that it is for personal use.

      Keep in mind that there is currently no legal way to purchase seeds or cuttings for home growth before January 1, 2024.

      I have a marijuana-related offense on my criminal record. Can I get it sealed?

      The new legislation allows certain records to be sealed. However, due to technological barriers, record sealing likely won’t begin until July 1, 2025. The law allows records to be sealed as soon as the involved state agencies are ready, but it is hard to predict how quickly they can set up the system.

      No later than October 1, 2025, courts will begin automatically sealing the records of people who were previously arrested, charged, or convicted for simple possession of marijuana or for selling, giving, or distributing less than one ounce of marijuana.

      Additionally, people with more serious marijuana charges on their records (such as selling more than one ounce of marijuana or any marijuana-related drug paraphernalia) will be able to petition a judge to have their records sealed starting July 1, 2025.

      This is just the tip of the iceberg. Got more questions or concerns?

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