Less than a year ago, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized marijuana for recreational use. Since July 1, Oregonians who are 21 or older have been allowed to possess up to an ounce in public and grow up to four plants at home. Tomorrow cannabis consumers without green thumbs (or friends who have them) will have another option: They can legally buy marijuana at more than 200 locations.
In the other states that have legalized marijuana, consumers have had to wait significantly longer than 11 months for legal recreational sales. It took 14 months in Colorado and 20 months in Washington. Alaskans, who approved a legalization measure the same day Oregonians did, probably will not see legal recreational sales until late 2016, since the Alaska Marijuana Control Board is still working on regulations for growers and retailers. Oregon got a faster start because legislators decided to let medical marijuana dispensaries serve recreational customers before the state begins licensing new pot stores next year.