If Oregon legalizes recreational marijuana this November, it will become the third state in the nation behind Washington and Colorado, both of which passed ballot initiatives in 2012. Oregon will be watching Washington closely, and will have the advantage of seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Soaring prices, supply shortages and overwhelmed regulators are three takeaways from Washington’s roll out of its retail marijuana system that Oregon advocates hope to improve upon should the state legalize the drug in November.
“You are starting a brand new industry from scratch, so there are definitely hurdles to get over and lessons to be learned,” said Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner for the campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon.
While having a rocky start in Washington, and to a lesser extent Colorado, retail marijuana has been largely successful. A brand new industry is bound to experience hurdles, and hopefully other states will take that knowledge into consideration when developing a retail marijuana system themselves.