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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Interest Soars For Oregon Marijuana Licenses

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File photo. The State of Oregon has received more than 100 applications are from aspiring recreational marijuana growers.

There's been a lot of interest in opening a licensed recreational marijuana business in Oregon. The state received nearly 200 paid submissions in the first two days since it began taking applications.

More than half of those applications are from aspiring recreational marijuana growers. The rest are from retailers, processors, and wholesalers. More than a third of the initial applications are from the Portland metro area. The rest are scattered around western and southern Oregon.

That's due in part to the fact that many cities and counties east of the Cascades have banned marijuana-related businesses. That could change later this year when voters in many of those places will have the chance to overturn the ban on their November ballot.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission said it expects the first set of recreational marijuana stores to open this fall. Limited recreational sales are currently allowed at medical marijuana dispensaries.