Marijuana is legal to possess in Oregon, but rules around where you can consume remain a puzzle of state and local rules.
Portland officials this month said they’d begin cracking down on events where people pay admission and receive cannabis samples once they’re in. The city considered such events public. And officials say paying to get into a venue where marijuana is being handed out is similar to selling pot – something only licensed marijuana businesses can do under the law.
Now the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has weighed in as well, reminding the public that while people 21 and older may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana in public, they can’t consume it in establishments that hold a liquor license.
Establishments with liquor licenses, such as bars and restaurants, are considered public, the agency said. Those establishments include stores that hold a license to serve or sell alcohol, wineries, breweries, distilleries and events with caterers who serve alcohol.
As for pot-themed events at locations without liquor licenses, the state said people should check with local government rules to see if the venue is considered a public place. Such events may also conflict with the state’s Indoor Clean Air Act, which prohibits smoking and the use of devices like vaporizer pens in public areas and work places.
Like the city of Portland, the liquor commission said “gifting” recreational marijuana to someone 21 or older isn’t allowed in situations where there’s a cover charge, paid admission, donations, tip jars, raffles, fundraisers or bartering.
— Noelle Crombie