Oregon’s decision to relax its marijuana laws has certainly paid off in a big way. Last year, the state’s marijuana sales exceeded $1 billion ($1,110,520,723), from $795 million in 2019. This is in face of the racial justice protests and coronavirus lockdowns that highlighted 2020. It is estimated that the tax revenue from last year’s sales will exceed $150 million, a major portion of which will fund substance-abuse screening and addiction programs.
Oregon already had a vibrant cannabis culture in the 2000s which was way before recreational marijuana was legalized. In fact, the state ranked in the top fifth of states for cannabis usage in three age categories below 26 in 2003-2004, according to a 2006 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Given that the state was also the first that decriminalized weed, it was just a matter of time before Oregon let its green flag fly high and proud.
This article was reviewed and updated for 2021.
- Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Oregon
- History of marijuana in Oregon
- Growing medical vs recreational marijuana in Oregon
- Possession and use of marijuana in Oregon
- Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Oregon
- FAQs about growing marijuana in Oregon
Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Oregon
Here’s the quick and dirty on Oregon’s marijuana home growing laws:
- Adult residents can grow up to 4 plants per household for recreational purposes.
- The sale of marijuana to a minor is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000. Minors can only use marijuana if they are registered under Oregon’s medical marijuana program with the permission of their legal guardian.
- Medical marijuana patients or caregivers can grow up to 6 mature plants and 12 seedlings.
- You should grow your marijuana plants away from public view. Additionally, your grow site needs to be registered under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).
Still confused? You may better understand the OMMP’s marijuana plant limit rules if it is put in a chart.
This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.
Punishments for Violating Oregon Home Grow Laws
For a pro-weed state, Oregon comes down pretty hard on those who violate its growing laws. Under ORS 475:
- It is a Class B misdemeanor to grow more than 4 to 8 plants for recreational purposes. This is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 6 months and/or a fine up to $2,500.
- Meanwhile, growing more than 8 plants in an unlicensed grow site is Class C felony that can get you up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $125,000.
- This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.
History of marijuana in Oregon
It’s not surprising that Oregon is now as cool with weed as it is now. It was the first-ever state to decriminalize cannabis in 1973. Thanks to the Oregon Decriminalization Bill of 1973, possession of 28.35 grams (1 ounce) was downgraded to a violation punishable by a $500 to $1,000 fine. The only exception to this is if the possession occurs in a public place within a thousand feet of a school for minors. However, it was only in 2014 that weed was legalized in the state through Measure 91 that allowed adults aged 21 and over to carry up to one ounce of marijuana, grow a maximum of 4 cannabis plants per household, and keep a fairly generous amount of 8 ounces at home.
Growing medical vs recreational marijuana in Oregon
There is no need for adult residents of Oregon to fulfill any requirement to grow recreational marijuana. However, medical patients and caregivers need to be registered in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). To be eligible for a physician’s statement, patients need to have a qualifying condition and proof of residency. Once you’ve secured your doctor’s recommendation, grow site consent form, a copy of your photo ID, and filled out all other OMMP application forms, you can proceed to apply on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Online System.
An MMJ Card will cost you $200. This is valid for 1 year and costs another $200 to renew. However, it will only cost $60 for those on food stamps and $50 for those on the Oregon Health Plan. It even drops to $20 for those in the military service and those on Supplemental Security Income.
You also have to register your grow site so that the government can track it. The registration/renewal fee is $200, but you may be exempted from paying if you satisfy the following requirements:
- You are growing only for yourself; and
- You are growing at your own residence where there are 12 or fewer mature plants; and
- You won’t be taking your cannabis to a processing site or dispensary.
Oregon’s medical marijuana plant growing limit rules is quite complex but only a few would be applicable for most home growers who want to grow for personal purposes. Let’s break it down and make it easier to understand:
- Registered patients and their caregivers may jointly grow 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants (under 24 inches in height)
- An additional 4 plants can be grown if the grow site is the patient’s or caregiver’s home with a limit of 12 plants per location.
Now patients do have the option to designate someone else to grow for them. PRMGs (Person responsible for a marijuana grow site) can also grow for other patients as well and their grow sites typically fall under these 4 categories:
- Within city limits & zoned residential – Allowed 12 mature plants, 24 immature ones 24 inches tall and above, and 72 immature plants below 24 inches
- Sites registered before 01/01/15 a.k.a “grandfathered sites”, within city limits & zoned residential – Allowed 24 mature plants, 48 immature ones 24 inches tall and above, and 144 immature plants below 24 inches
- Inside/outside city limits, but not zoned residential – Allowed 48 mature plants, 24 immature ones 24 inches tall and above, and 72 immature plants below 24 inches
- “Grandfathered”, inside/outside city limits, but not zoned residential – Allowed 96 mature plants, 192 immature ones 24 inches tall and above, and 576 immature plants below 24 inches
PRMG households are also allowed to have 4 more plants aside from medical marijuana plants. “Grandfathered” sites also need to meet certain criteria and be approved by the OHA.
The law allows adults in Oregon to buy and carry 10 seeds from dispensaries. Meanwhile, OMMP cardholders can buy up to 50. However, dispensaries often don’t have as many strain choices as online seed banks. As we’ve mentioned in How to Buy Marijuana Seeds, buying your seeds online is often the easier and more convenient choice, the only real problem with it is that interstate sales and transport of marijuana seeds is still federally illegal. However, these sellers often know how to exploit loopholes in the system to make sure their customers get their orders safely and anonymously.
Possession and use of marijuana in Oregon
Oregon marijuana laws are already pretty reasonable, there’s really no reason to be carrying more than an ounce in public unless you are a registered Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMPP) cardholder. It’s also a no-brainer to not consume in public. But just in case you’re tempted to, here are the penalties for violating Oregon’s possession laws.
- Consuming marijuana in public is Class B violation punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Possession of more than 1 – 2 ounces, also a Class B violation punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
- Meanwhile, it is a Class B misdemeanor to carry 2 – 4 ounces. This is punishable by up to 6 months in prison jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
- 4 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $6,250.
Home is where the weed is
As you can see, it’s really not worth violating Oregon marijuana laws. It is completely legal to keep 8 oz of weed, 16 oz in solid form, 72 oz in liquid form, and 5 gms of extracts or concentrates at home. This is in addition to any recreational or medical cannabis plants they have. That’s already plenty for personal consumption. Any more than that and you can incur some hefty penalties:
- Keeping a stash of more than 1 – 2 pounds is class B misdemeanor punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Any more than 2 pounds is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $6,250.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can give marijuana to another adult as long as the amount does not exceed possession limits. You certainly cannot sell marijuana or accept financial consideration for it.
Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Oregon
How does Oregon’s marijuana laws compare with home growing laws in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.
FAQs about growing marijuana in Oregon
Yes, it is legal to grow recreational cannabis at home in Oregon.
Legally adult Oregon residents may grow up to 4 plants per household for recreational use.
Yes, it is legal to grow at home in Oregon for medical purposes. However, to qualify, you need to have a medical marijuana license.
Registered patients and their caregivers may jointly grow 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants (under 24 inches in height). However, they may grow more, depending on the location of their grow site.
Residents may grow on their properties, in a secured area where the plants can be kept away from public view. Additionally, medical marijuana growers will need to register their grow sites with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).
Growers need to be at least 21 years old to legally grow medical and recreational marijuana.
Weed may be alive and well in Oregon but those who want to grow and use it need to be aware of the state’s complex marijuana laws if they don’t want to get into serious trouble. These laws make sure that residents get to carry and grow a reasonable amount of marijuana for recreational purposes, while medical users get an adequate amount that can help with their condition. It also foists heavy punishments on those looking to grow in excess and sell outside of the system.