Deschutes County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Deschutes County?

Residents of Deschutes County are given the privilege to access medical and recreational marijuana following Oregon’s adoption of OAR 333-008 and ORS 475C. Two relevant programs are operated by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) in pursuit of marijuana regulation in the state – the Recreational Marijuana Program and Medical Marijuana Program. The Recreational Marijuana Program has the sole right to distribute marijuana of both recreational and medical grades to customers and licensed businesses via retail marijuana outlets. Meanwhile, the Medical Marijuana Program tracks any Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) processing facilities, OMMP dispensaries, and OMMP growers authorized to cultivate marijuana for three or more patients. In line with this, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, and Bend Police Department collaborated and created the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Market Enforcement to address any illegal cannabis operations in the county.

Deschutes County allows the indoor and outdoor cultivation of marijuana, away from public view, by residents aged 21. Collectively termed as a Person Responsible for a Marijuana Grow Site (PRMG), an OMMP-registered patient or any individual designated by the patient to grow marijuana for them may cultivate medical marijuana depending on the plant limits permitted by law, as determined by the grow site. Generally, a PRMG growing for a patient may only grow six mature marijuana plants, 12 immature plants that are 24 inches or taller, or 36 immature plants less than 24 inches in height. On the other hand, residents may also purchase marijuana seeds and plants to cultivate for recreational use. A total of four plants may be grown per household regardless of the number of residents.

The OLCC licenses business establishments to produce marijuana in growing canopies commercially. Producers may be allowed to plant, cultivate, grow, trim, harvest, or dry marijuana upon the approval of their application. Maximum indoor and outdoor canopy sizes for mature plants may vary from 10,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet, respectively. On the contrary, immature plants may be grown in canopy sizes ranging from 625 square feet to 10,000 square feet. As of January 2023, 72 producer license applications were received by the Commission. Before application, the applicant must request a land use compatibility statement from the city or county to prove that the area allotted for the establishment is within the given zoning designation.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Deschutes County?

Yes. Licensed processors may process, compound, or convert marijuana into cannabinoid products, extracts, or concentrates. At least 37 establishments have applied for a processor license in Deschutes County as of January 2023.

In compliance with ORS 475C.544, all processed marijuana must be tested to ensure public health and safety. Moreover, packaging and labeling requirements were set by the OLCC in accordance with existing laws and regulations:

  • Packages must be child-resistant and not visually appealing to minors.

  • Packages must protect processed marijuana from any contamination and toxic or harmful substances.

  • Packages must not contain any misleading information or false claims.

  • Packages must be labeled as stated in OAR 845-025-7000 to 845-025-7190.

Different endorsements may be applied for by medical marijuana processors online – cannabinoid edible processor, cannabinoid topical processor, cannabinoid concentrate processor, cannabinoid extract processor, and cannabinoid tincture, capsule, suppository, or transdermal patch processor. Specific regulations to be followed by these processors may be found under the following: OAR 333-008-1790 (edible processors), OAR 333-008-1800 (concentrate and extract processors), and OAR 333-008-1810 (topical, tincture, capsule, suppository, or transdermal patch processors).

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Deschutes County?

Marijuana retail is legal in Deschutes County. In fact, around 43 retailer license applications were recorded by the Commission last January 2023, with 32 approved licensees located in the cities of Bend and La Pine as of February 2023.

Dispensaries are required by law to be located 1,000 feet away from any preschool, public and private elementary and secondary schools, youth activity centers, national monuments, and state parks. They may sell flowers, pre-rolls, vaporizers, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, CBD, and accessories to Deschutes County residents aged 21 or older from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily. On the other hand, medical marijuana may be sold to OMMP-registered medical marijuana cardholders who are at least 18 years old. Each customer is given the following daily purchase limit:

  • Two ounces of usable marijuana for recreational users

  • Eight ounces of usable marijuana per day or 32 ounces per month for OMMP-registered patients or designated caregivers

  • 16 ounces of a solid cannabinoid product

  • 72 ounces of a liquid cannabinoid product

  • Five grams of extracts or concentrates

  • Five grams of inhalable products

  • Four immature plants and ten seeds

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Deschutes County?

Yes, but only for recreational marijuana since the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) prohibits the delivery of medical marijuana in the state as well as farmers' markets, drive-thrus, and mobile dispensaries. This means that medical marijuana cardholders may only be able to purchase medical marijuana by visiting dispensaries.

Of the 32 approved retail licensees as of February 2023, 13 offer delivery services in Deschutes County from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. All personnel involved in marijuana delivery must be registered in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) following the Retailer Home Delivery Guide set by the OLCC. Orders may be placed by the receiver before 8:00 PM of the delivery date with the following information: the receiver’s name and date of birth, delivery schedule, delivery address, quantity and description of orders, and a statement stating that the orders are for personal use only. During delivery, a valid I.D. will be asked from the receiver to confirm their age and identity. All marijuana products for delivery may not exceed $3,000 in retail value.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Deschutes County

Deschutes County residents who have any of the following qualifying medical conditions may get certified by an attending provider and apply for a medical marijuana card under the OMMP: glaucoma, a degenerative or pervasive neurological condition, cancer, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, or any medical condition that results in cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, and persistent muscle spasm.

Additionally, applicants must complete other requirements such as the OMMP application form, grow site consent form, photocopy of valid I.D., and fee payment. Application may be completed online or by sending all requirements via mail at OHA/OMMP, P.O. Box 14450, Portland, OR 97293-0450. The patient or designated caregiver may expect to receive their medical marijuana I.D. card via mail once approved.

The OMMP may be reached at 971-673-1234 or every weekday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Deschutes County?

All marijuana product sales in Oregon are imposed with a 17% excise tax plus an optional 3% additional tax by local governments. The revenue collected will be utilized to cover OLCC expenses, while the remaining will be allocated as follows: 40% to schools, 25% to substance abuse treatment and prevention services, 15% to Oregon State Police, 10% to cities, and 10% to counties to help local law enforcement. Based on records, Deschutes County has seen increasing trends in marijuana sales. As of February 2023, the county ranked 7th in the state with around $3,803,382 in sales.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Deschutes County

Oregon pioneered the decriminalization of the possession of medical marijuana in the United States in 1973. About 42 years later, the state further expanded the decriminalization of marijuana by legalizing its recreational use. In line with this, crime rates in Deschutes County significantly decreased throughout the years.

Based on the available report of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office on the FBI Crime Data Explorer, marijuana possession offenses in the county were reduced from 69 arrests in 2014 to four in 2021. During the years 2015 to 2017, recorded arrests were 41, 49, and 31, respectively.

Meanwhile, arrests for marijuana sale offenses were reduced from 9 in 2014 to one in 2021. The decreasing trend was evident from 2015 to 2017 when six arrests, three arrests, and one arrest were recorded, respectively.

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Oregon Cannabis County Info