Shortly after the law legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon went into effect, a small white cart with a green cross on one side and a cartoon of two blazed weed leafs on the other showed up on the streets of North Portland. Making use of a loophole, a North Portland couple started Smoke Buddy, a mobile marijuana cart that sold jars for donation.
In the year that marijuana has been legal in Oregon, retail establishments have not yet been permitted. As of January 1, 2016, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) started accepting applications for the manufacture, wholesale, and retail sale of cannabis.
In the meantime, consumers have been left with few options for obtaining legal marijuana. Although Measure 91 prohibits the unlicensed sale of marijuana, residents over 21 are allowed to give up to one ounce of cannabis to one another.
In a town famous for its food carts, the weed cart was embraced for providing a much-needed service, but it was not without its share of problems.
The cart was robbed and eventually the business was closed due to changes in city code.
Many other Oregonians have made use of this loophole. Ads on sites such as Craigslist offer a similar service, selling jars for donations. Some even offer delivery service.
The OLCC responded by allowing medicinal dispensaries to provide recreational sales beginning October 1, 2015.
Since then, customers have been able to purchase cannabis through the already established network of medicinal marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
Consumers are limited to only buying a quarter ounce of flower a day. Extracts and edibles are still not available for retail sale.
With the OLCC predicting retail sales opening in the fourth quarter of 2016, it seems likely that the jar market will still thrive in Oregon for some time.