Sales of recreational marijuana begin in Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Sales of recreational marijuana begin in Oregon

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Customers wait in line at Foster Buds in SE Portland Customers wait in line at Foster Buds in SE Portland

Oregonians have been able to legally smoke marijuana in Oregon since July, but until Thursday, there hadn't been a legal way for smokers to buy it.

As the clock struck 12:01 a.m., many medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to recreational pot users 21 and older for the first time.

It's a big change for dispensaries, which are now seeing more business than ever.

"We just increased the amount of people that can come into our store by about 400 percent, so it's good for business, for sure," said Sam Watson with Green Sky Collective in Portland.

Smokers also are excited about the start of retail sales, since it means no longer dealing on the black market.

"I like smoking weed, and I'm really excited about smoking weed legally, purchasing it legally, rather than going through my shady weed dealer," Denny Fulton said.

Recreational sales at dispensaries is a temporary arrangement that lawmakers established after voters passed Measure 91 in November.

MORE: What you need to know about Oregon's recreational marijuana

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is still working on rules and regulations for pot sales and won't start issuing licenses for businesses until next year.

So medical dispensaries, under the watchful eye of the Oregon Health Authority, are stepping up to fill that gap.

Dispensaries are allowed to sell recreational marijuana through the end of 2016, but they'll still have to apply for licenses when the OLCC starts taking applications in January.


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