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Are you interested in learning how to open a marijuana dispensary in Oregon? Our dispensary guide shows you how to start-up a cannabis retail business. Learn how to leave your mark in this thriving cannabis market with our instructional blog post.

Cannabis Business Types in Oregon

In 1998, Oregon legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. In 2014, the state passed recreational marijuana laws.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) runs the medical market. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) runs the recreational side of things.

Make sure you apply to the correct governing entity when applying for a marijuana business application. individuals have a choice between the following business types:

  • Medical marijuana dispensary
  • Medical marijuana grower
  • Medical marijuana processor
  • Medical marijuana testing facility
  • Retail marijuana store
  • Marijuana producer
  • Marijuana processor
  • Marijuana wholesaler
  • Marijuana testing facility

Opening a Dispensary in Oregon

Out of all the legal states in the nation, Oregon has the highest cannabis dispensaries per capita. Oregon has about 16.5 dispensaries per 100,000 residents. Needless to say, the weed dispensary competition in Oregon is burning hot.

Applying for a cannabis dispensary license requires a lot of preparatory groundwork.

  1. Research state and local laws to ensure you remain compliant. Market and competitive research can help you understand the market.
  2. Develop a business plan that outlines your corporate structure. A business plan is an essential insight for investors and regulatory agencies. Include every business activity and financial projection in painstaking detail.
  3. Self-funding isn’t possible for everyone. Finding financing to pay your employees, the license, and more can add up.
  4. Choose a location that meets all the state’s requirements and your business needs.
  5. When hiring staff, ensure that every dispensary employee has a valid marijuana worker permit.

Cannabis Dispensary Restrictions

Oregon does not have a residency requirement to open up a retail location. You, however, must not have any charges related to Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 Controlled Substances within the past two years. You must also not have more than one criminal charge of this kind in the state.

Some municipalities ban or have a moratorium on licensing dispensaries. Make sure you know your local laws before doing the preparatory work to apply for a license.

In terms of dispensary location, dispensaries must not be located within 1,000 feet of a public, private, or parochial elementary or secondary school.

Oregon dispensaries have many signage rules written in both English and Spanish and placed in a conspicuous location where they can easily be seen. Signs should read:

  • “No Minors Permitted Anywhere on the Premises”
  • “No On-Site Consumption”
  • “Security Cameras In Use”

All entry points of limited access areas must also have “limited access” signs. Signs must also provide poison and pregnancy warnings. Finally, dispensaries must have at least one Educate Before You Recreate poster.

Completing the Application to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in Oregon

Before you apply, you must designate a Primary Person Responsible for Dispensary (PRD). This is the primary point of contact designated by the owner. You will need to indicate a physical address of a proposed dispensary.

Submit an online application for a medical marijuana retail license at

Submit an online application for an adult-use license with the OLCC.

The required documents include:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Local government approval for dispensary
  • Proof that the business is registered
  • School/dispensary proximity affirmation form
  • A scaled floor plan
  • A scaled site plan
  • Ownership documentation for location

Make sure you fill out every single page of the application without any errors. Incomplete or incorrect applications can result in a license denial or delay.

After submitting your application, you must wait for a confirmation email to verify your account. The email will list your personal MMD number or license number, which is important to save for future correspondence.

Having trouble completing the application or renewal process?  Contact [email protected] or (971) 673-1946. Phone lines are available between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Oregon Dispensary Fees

There is a non-refundable application processing fee of $250 for every license type. When the Commission issues you an annual license, you must pay the following fees within five days of submission:

  • Retailer registration fee: $4,750
  • Annual tracking system fee: $480
  • Criminal background check: $50 per individual listed on a license application
  • Transfer of location of premises review: $1,000
  • Packaging preapproval: $100
  • Labeling preapproval” $100
  • Change to previously approved package or label: $25
  • Medical marijuana application fee: $500
  • Medical marijuana registration fee: $3,500

The fees do not include the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to startup a new retail location.

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Oregon Cannabis College

Interested in opening a weed dispensary location? Enroll in CTU’s online cannabis college today. Learn from insiders who have gone through the startup process. Our curriculum covers cannabis topics that can help you make wiser business decisions.

Sign up for CTU’s online cannabis college to learn how to be a successful cannabis professional. Our training program teaches people of all skill levels how to get ahead in the industry.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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