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Government and Politics
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.

Oregon Lawmakers Approve Plan To Allow Retail Pot Sales In October

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Austin Jenkins
/
Northwest News Network
The Oregon House approved a measure that would allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to any adult starting October 1.

Oregonians could buy recreational marijuana from stores starting in October under a measure approved Thursday by the Oregon House.

That's potentially a year sooner than what would have happened under the voter-approved Measure 91. The measure would allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to any adult starting October 1.

Democratic Representative Ken Helm said October might seem like a long way off for eager pot customers. But he said it will give dispensaries time to gear up for an expected influx of new business.

"We ought to provide as soon as possible legal means of obtaining this new product,” Helm said. “And it also recognizes that we need a few months to be able to do that in a rational way."

The three month gap between legal possession and retail sales of recreational marijuana is much shorter than in Washington. There, it was more than 18 months between when people could possess pot and when they could legally buy it.

The measure now heads to Oregon Governor Kate Brown.