By Noelle Crombie
Starting Thursday, it's legal to buy marijuana in Oregon.
Anyone 21 and older can purchase up to a quarter-ounce of dried flowers from more than 200 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide.
Here's what you need to know:
-- Retail marijuana sales will be limited to dried flowers, plants and seeds. A staggering variety of marijuana-infused foods, candies, drinks and other edibles, as well as potent marijuana concentrates are not available to recreational shoppers.
-- The Oregon Health Authority will oversee sales of recreational marijuana at more than 200 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide. Next year, recreational marijuana production, processing and retail sales will be overseen by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is still drafting rules for the industry.
-- For now, pot shoppers in Oregon get a tax holiday. A 25 percent temporary sales tax doesn't kick in until Jan. 4, 2016. That tax will be replaced late next year with a 17 percent state tax, estimated to generate more than $30 million a year. Local governments may add up to another 3 percent tax, provided their voters approve.
-- While sales of recreational marijuana get underway today, numerous Oregon cities and counties are blocking recreational sales, either through opt-out provisions approved by the Legislature or by refusing to give business licenses to medical marijuana dispensaries.
-- Marijuana use can still get you fired. Oregon's new marijuana law doesn't affect employers' ability to establish drug-free policies and it doesn't prevent them from firing you if you test positive for marijuana, even if you're not impaired on the job.
(c)2015 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)