Oregon opened recreational marijuana shops on Saturday, joining the likes of Alaska, Washington, and Colorado:
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced on Friday it has approved licenses for 26 retailers around the state, meeting a key deadline almost two years after voters passed a ballot measure legalizing pot.
“It’s a pretty exciting day for the OLCC,” Steven Marks, the executive director of the commission charged with regulating recreational marijuana, said in a conference call with journalists. He said 12 recreational retailers can start operating as soon as Saturday.
The state has allowed medical marijuana since October 2015. But with these shops opening, those stores cannot sell marijuana for recreational purposes after December 31.
Right now, Oregon has 26 stores licensed to sell the drug, but they still need to tie up some loose ends. The retailers complained to the state “of a backlog in getting approvals for labels and packages and said there were only a few laboratories capable of testing to the new, more stringent standards.” Marks said they are catching up:
To remain on shelves, products produced before Oct. 1 must clearly state they were tested under the old regime and must leave stores in childproof packaging.
By allowing retailers to sell products produced before the Oct. 1 rules changes, the state will provide a smooth transition for retailers to sell existing product and for those medical dispensaries that want to transition into a recreational license, said Nathan Rix, a senior policy analyst at the commission. To date, the OLCC has approved a total of 326 licenses in the following categories: producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and labs.
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