Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis Laws in Portland, Oregon

Jars of marijuana sitting on a table

There are a lot of cannabis laws in Oregon, well everywhere, but you should know at least a few of them. Can you just walk into a store and buy a joint or do you have to buy the flowers and roll your own? Can you smoke it on the sidewalk? At the beach? In your house? Here are some answers to frequently asked cannabis questions so you can be an upstanding, law-abiding, cannabis-smoking citizen. If you are curious how cannabis delivery works in Portland, Oregon we also have an article for that.

First, a disclaimer. None of us at Pot Mates are lawyers, or at least no one will admit it, so what follows should not be misconstrued as “legal advice”. Lawyers are, generally speaking, the only people qualified to offer helpful, valid legal advice. That’s like, literally their job. We have our own thing going on. If you really want to be informed, you should read HB 3400 and Measure 91 for yourself. (uh, were not going to update this section very often so definitely double check the date and double check the laws!)

Disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to the questions!

Q & A:

So how does this whole legalization thing work?

Well, if you’re over the age of 21 in the state of Oregon, you are legally permitted to possess up to one ounce of dried cannabis flowers, hash, concentrate, or extract, sixteen ounces of edibles, and seventy-two ounces of liquids. And ten cannabis seeds. And four immature cannabis plants. (And, man, that’s a lot of ands!)

Wow, that’s a lot! Where can I buy it?

Oh, so many places! Especially here in Portland. This also depends a lot on where you are because there are some cities (and counties) that have decided not to allow recreational sales. Basically, if you’re west of the Cascades and you’re not in Douglas, Marion, Jefferson, or Klamath counties, you can probably find a licensed marijuana retail store. Many of them are cash only, and they always check your government-issued photo ID to make sure you’re over the legal purchasing age, so bring both when you go.

You can also get cannabis delivered here in Portland, Oregon! (that’s what we do). Just click over to our menu and we can deliver cannabis products to you as long as you aren’t at work or school and aren’t in a dorm, hotel, or hostel. Technically these are all places of business and Oregon cannabis law says we can’t do it.

Like, how much can I buy though?

Cannabis laws in Oregon allow you to buy an ounce of flower, five grams of concentrates, sixteen ounces of edibles, seventy-two ounces of liquids, ten seeds, and four little plants per day. For reference, an ounce of flower would make more than seventy-five joints. Please don’t smoke this many joints in a day. Well, you’re an adult and we aren’t lawyers, so you do you, but seventy-five sounds like a lot. The real question is how you should choose a cannabis strain for your mood.

Per day?

Theoretically, you could buy that much every day! You can even keep up to eight ounces in your private residence, so you don’t necessarily have to go every day. But yeah, it’s crazy.

That is crazy! What if I want to grow my own?

If you’re over 21, you can grow up to four plants (per household) on your own private property, provided you keep them out of public view. Growing outside should be done in a greenhouse, or behind a fence or tall hedge that keeps them hidden. The only place you can’t grow cannabis is within 1,000 feet of a school, because cannabis is not for children and they will, most likely, try and steal it. You don’t want that, their parents done want that, we don’t want that. Nobody wants that.

Four plants would make a lot more than eight ounces. Can I give some to my friends?

You’re so generous! You can give cannabis to anyone over 21 on two conditions: you can’t give them more than they are legally allowed to possess and you can’t receive any kind of financial consideration for your gift. Oh, and you both have to be in Oregon when the gift is made.

What’s “financial consideration”? Sounds like something a lawyer would say.

Yeah, we know, and we’re not lawyers, but definitely don’t try to sell anything you grow. Actually, now that we think about it, don’t sell any controlled substances, like at all. That’s what we do, and we had to get a bunch of licenses and a security system and cameras to be able to do so legally. It’s for sure, super not legal to sell cannabis without a license.

Pretty much anything with verifiable monetary value is considered (by lawyers) as financial consideration. Basically, if you’re going to gift it, make sure there are no strings attached. Here’s a list of stuff you can’t receive in exchange for gifting somebody cannabis:

  • Money
  • Tips
  • Goods or services
  • Cover charges
  • Admission fees
  • Fundraisers
  • Donations
  • Raffles
  • Sales
  • Etc.

I rent my place. Can I still grow?

According to Oregon Cannabis laws you need to ask your landlord! It’s up to the property owner. So maybe!

Where can I smoke?

Only in your home or on private property. This means no parks, no public beaches, nowhere cigarette smoking is already prohibited, and not on federal land. We actually like this rule, because everyone should enjoy the freedom to choose when they do or don’t inhale cannabis smoke.

There are some “cannabis clubs” in Portland, Eugene, and other cities around Oregon where you’re welcome to consume it in the company of others. Kind of like a bar, but you have to bring your own cannabis. These places may have pinball machines, pool tables, or refreshments for you to enjoy while you get high.

That sounds like a lot of driving, but I don’t think I should drive if I’m high.

That’s…not a question. But you’re right! Driving under the influence is illegal, hazardous, and in no way worth the risks. Your reaction time and short-term memory are impaired whenever you ingest cannabis, and those are the most important factors in responding to or averting an accident. If you need to get somewhere quickly, try to get a ride with someone. This is a good time to read up on how to stay safe while enjoying cannabis.

Point taken. If I’m not high, can I drive with weed in my car?

Mostly yes, but not if you’re crossing state lines. As long as you’re staying within Oregon, it’s okay to have it in the car. Just keep it stored somewhere the driver can’t reach it in a child-proof container. By the way, if you’re flying within Oregon, you can take it with you! Anyplace else and they make you get rid of it. 

Awesome! But wait,—why can’t I take it to California or Washington, states that have also legalized recreational marijuana?

Well, because it’s still illegal on a federal level, and crossing state lines puts you under federal jurisdiction. If you get pulled over by a state trooper crossing the border with an ounce of cannabis, you could be charged with intent to distribute, even though you were within your legal possession limit in both states! Oregon cannabis law stays in Oregon, California Cannabis law stays in California.

Okay, now that is crazy.

That’s not a question either, but we agree! Legalize cannabis nationwide!

What do I say to the cop if I get pulled over and I have weed in the car?

In general, it’s best to only speak when spoken to and only answer the questions the officer asks. If the officer asks whether or not you have cannabis in your car, you can certainly refuse to answer the question (any question, really,) before speaking to a lawyer, but that means you have to actually call one of those lawyers we talked about at the beginning. This sounds like a lot of trouble.  If you tell them you don’t have anything, they could bring you up on charges if they eventually—legally—discover that you lied. Lying is bad, and if you lie to a police officer you are going to have a bad time. Use your best judgement and be respectful. Everyone deserves respect, especially people who can arrest you. Thats a more universal truth than an Oregon cannabis law FAQ, so take that one wherever you go.

What else do I need to know about legally buying and consuming weed in Oregon?

Not much! Just remember:

  • Don’t drive high
  • Exercise good judgment
  • Obey all the laws
  • You can have up to an ounce on you at a time
  • You can only smoke on private property that expressly allows it
  • Keep all cannabis products out of the reach of children
  • And above all, don’t drive high. Marijuana affects your memory and response time.

You should know more about the four stages of being high, especially if it will be your first time, and what to do when you are too high, regardless of how many rodeos you have been to.


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