Business is brisk when it comes to selling marijuana clones. The plants, rooted clippings from mature plants, are the most common way Oregon medical marijuana patients interested in growing their own cannabis get their crop started.
Starting July 1, 2015, households will be allowed to have up to four marijuana plants, a provision already generating interest among people interested in growing recreational pot at home.
Washington, by contrast, does not allow home marijuana cultivation for recreational consumers, aiming instead to drive pot consumers to the state’s regulated and taxed retail market. (Washington medical marijuana patients, however, can have up to 15 plants.) Colorado, also home to a regulated retail market for recreational marijuana, allows anyone 21 and older to have up to six plants at home, the same amount allowed for medical marijuana cardholders.
Joel Jennings, an owner of Five Zero Trees, a Southeast Portland medical marijuana dispensary, expects the state’s regulated marijuana industry to see robust sales in pot plants once Oregon’s legal marijuana law goes into effect July 1, 2015.
Jennings stocks at least four strains — Northern Lights, Super Silver Haze, Mt. Hood Magic and a fourth with a profane name not suitable for print. He figures he sells about 300 plants a month.
“We can’t keep them in stock,” he said.
But home growers face some restrictions under the new law.
— It remains a felony to grow marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school. Leland Berger, a Portland lawyer who advises marijuana businesses, said medical marijuana patients and growers may, however, grow on registered grow sites near schools.
— If you’re growing in your yard, plants should be behind a fence or another barrier. It’s a violation – the equivalent of a traffic ticket – to grow in public view.
— Under the new law, local communities can go through the process of opting out of licensed and regulated marijuana production, processing and sales, but local governments cannot ban home grows. If you live in a community that opts out of the licensed recreational marijuana industry, residents may still consume, possess and grow marijuana at home.
— You can give away marijuana – and clones – but you cannot sell either unless you are licensed by the state.
“You can use it, you can share it with other adults, but that’s it,” said Dave Kopilak, a Portland lawyer who helped draft the new law.
— You may not produce marijuana concentrates or extracts at home. This provision is aimed at the cottage industry of marijuana enthusiasts who make hash oil in their homes or garages using butane, a flammable solvent that has sent more than a dozen Oregonians to a Portland burn unit for treatment of serious injuries. Under the new law, the only people who can legally produce BHO and CO2 extracts are those who are licensed by the state.
The state doesn’t regulate the production of BHO and other concentrates in the state’s medical marijuana program.
Jennings, a medical marijuana grower who lives in West Linn, said he hopes the new law translates into increased social acceptance for growing pot. He’s thinking of planting a single marijuana clone in his backyard just to look at once July 1, 2015 rolls around.
“I think a lot of people are thinking it’s going to be a free for all,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked to wants to grow them on their balcony, in their basement, in their backyard. People are really enthusiastic.”
— Noelle Crombie