Recreational marijuana will officially be legal in Oregon on Wednesday, but pot users expecting to find store shelves stocked with various strains of homegrown bud will be disappointed. The state isn’t accepting applications from growers and retailers until 2016, meaning unless you’re a medical marijuana patient, there’s still no place to buy legal pot. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t marijuana to go around.
One local group said it’s hosting a marijuana giveaway just after midnight on July 1 – the day the state’s recreational marijuana law goes into effect. That’s right: There’s expected to be free weed in Oregon early Wednesday morning (although how much there’ll be was unclear). The Portland chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said it planned to give adults with valid IDs small amounts of marijuana and cannabis seeds to celebrate the law’s implementation.
The organizers of the event said they’ll gather on the west side of the Burnside Bridge just before midnight on Tuesday. The marijuana will be provided by local medical marijuana growers and activists, the Oregonian reported.
“This is more than free weed,” organizers say on the event site, according to Time. “This is more than vendors, food and vapes. This is history in the making!” Weed also will be given away at another event Friday called Weed the People, scheduled to be held at the MCF Craft Brewing Systems facility in North Portland. The event isn’t free – tickets can be purchased online for $40 – but attendees will be given samples “from Oregon’s best growers.”
Oregon has joined Alaska, Colorado, Washington and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational marijuana. Oregon’s marijuana law, Measure 91, which voters passed in November, allows adults 21 and older to keep up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home and grow up to four plants. Adults can possess up to 1 ounce in public. Gifting marijuana to people of legal age is permissible under the new law, as long as there’s no money exchanged.
Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 1998. The first medical pot dispensaries opened last year, but they aren’t licensed to sell marijuana to nonpatients. The state eventually wants to have a legal weed market similar to what’s in place in Colorado and Washington, but that’s not expected to happen until late 2016. Lawmakers are still busy working out the details for regulating and taxing the product.