The Rules Of Cannabis: What’s Legal & Where?

It’s been two years since Oregon allowed the first legal, recreational sale of cannabis. But the legal market is still relatively new. It’s important to review the rules so that you know what activities (and amounts) are legal and where.


Just like alcohol, recreational cannabis use is only legal for adults 21 and older. You can possess, use and buy recreational cannabis. But, there are rules around each one.

No Public Places

“Posess” and “Use” mean you can carry it with you or store it in your car or home, but not in public places. You can consume it on private property, but that’s about it.

You are not allowed to light up in the park, or while taking a stroll in the neighborhood. It is not permitted in designated smoking areas outside of restaurants or airports. And, the law states that your employer can still enforce its own rules regarding cannabis use. Just because it’s legal now doesn’t mean we get free reign.

Only Licensed Retailers Can Sell Cannabis To You

It’s also important to understand where one can legally buy cannabis. Oregon law states that only OLCC-licensed retail stores may sell recreational marijuana to users (or OMMP patients). We can’t buy or sell to our friends, although we can give and receive cannabis as a gift. You can’t purchase cannabis products from the producers online, but some dispensaries do offer an online ordering option where they will deliver your order to your home.

What Happens In Oregon Stays In Oregon

The most important rule is this: it is illegal to cross state lines with cannabis. Even if recreational cannabis use is legal in Washington, it’s illegal to mail or transport cannabis goods across the state line. Federal law still considers cannabis a controlled substance (see current debate). If you’re visiting Oregon, and you want to try cannabis, it’s got to happen here.

No Kids Allowed!

Oregon lawmakers designed cannabis law to prevent underage use. We need to be mindful amidst the presence of children. It is not permitted under any circumstance to share or expose children to cannabis. Adolescents’ developing brains may be particularly vulnerable to prolonged use of cannabis. According to PHD researcher Susan Weiss, (who is also the director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse), starting young and using frequently may disrupt brain development (learn more here). Whether we know 100% of what happens in the adolescent brain, we must use precautions to ensure kids don’t get their hands on it.


All of the rules around cannabis were created to ensure public safety and the enjoyment of cannabis users. Let’s keep the industry safe and thriving by following these rules and knowing the boundaries around cannabis consumption.

If you have any questions or comments or if anything seems unclear, contact us or visit the OLCC website fact sheet.