words by Bryan Dorn

The web of ever-changing laws around marijuana possession is complex, and can leave consumers who are unsure of local laws stuck finding out for themselves— in either a dispensary or a courtroom.

Following legalization in Oregon in 2014, cities and counties throughout the state could opt out of marijuana production and distribution according to Measure 91. Currently, 95 cities and counties across the state are currently on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission prohibition record, meaning they have banned some aspect of the industry, if not an outright ban. This means the biggest factor to be aware of as a consumer is where you are, and what the marijuana rules and regulations are.

Consumers in Lane County have access to dozens of dispensaries, but just 30 minutes south retail shops in Douglas County will be non existent.

Dispensaries weren’t allowed to sell marijuana in retail stores until 2015. Since 2016, the number of medical and recreational dispensaries in Oregon has grown to over 500, according to the OLCC active marijuana retail license list from October 2018.

Marijuana legalization has been a long journey, and laws are still changing at the regional, state and national levels. This has caused rapid change in local regulations such as purchasing amounts, smoking restrictions and possession limits. Consumers can expect more change as marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation begins to spread across the country.

As marijuana tip toes towards full legality, knowing local laws and regulations can help equip consumers with the right tools to make good decisions when leaving the house with marijuana or sparking up a joint.

Here are the basics on recreational marijuana possession in Eugene, according to the OLCC:

Possession at home according:
You must be 21 or older to legally, possess or consume marijuana
Landlords can restrict possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana on their properties.
Eight ounces of usable marijuana such as dried leaves or flowers.
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.

Possession in public:

According to the OLCC, a public place is any space where the public has open access—this includes places like highways, streets, schools, parks, front yards, and bar patios.

One ounce of usable marijuana
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.
These limits mean that while consumers can possess up to eight ounces in their home, they can only leave their home with one ounce at a time.

Possession on campus, according to the Dean of Students:
Marijuana in any form is strictly prohibited on campus.
Riding a bike or driving any motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is prohibited.
You may possess and use marijuana off campus if you are 21 and older.
If students are planning on going to or through campus they are not allowed to possess marijuana.

Cultivation Rules according to the OLCC:
Adults 21 and older are allowed 10 marijuana seeds.
4 mature plants per household—NOT per person.
4 immature plants in a public space for the sake of transportation.

Note: While eight ounces may sound like a lot of marijuana, households with four mature plants may easily produce more than that amount come harvest season. Adults in Oregon can give or exchange marijuana to anyone 21 and older so long as no financial compensation is directly or indirectly exchanged, according to the OLCC.

Financial compensation can be seen as any exchange of goods, including: services, tips, admissions, raffles, fundraisers, donations and more.

Places where possession law may vary:
Federal lands
Tribal lands
Leased properties; tenants should ask their landlord.

Transportation:
Consumers must follow all public space possession amounts when transporting marijuana.
It is legal to possess on flights within within the state under public possession limits.
It is not legal to transport marijuana across state lines.
It is only legal to transport one ounce of marijuana at a time.
You can only transport 4 immature marijuana plants at a time.

Consumption
Operating a bicycle or motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is against the law.
Consumption is restricted to private spaces.
It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places such as parks, streets, schools, front yards etc.