Here’s the introduction to the opb piece we recommend keeping this one on file…

Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry hit a milestone this month.

About 90 days into the legal sale of recreational marijuana, Jan. 4 marked the first time people could officially apply for licenses to operate recreational businesses in Oregon. And more changes are on the way.

By the end of the year, Oregon’s cannabis industry will look a lot different from what we currently have.

When will new recreational retail marijuana stores be open?

Although the state is accepting business license applications, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission — which will oversee the state’s recreational marijuana business solely starting in January 2017 — doesn’t plan to approve any of the retail store applications until at least the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Around October is what we’re projecting,” said OLCC spokesperson Mark Pettinger. Pettinger said the OLCC’s priority right now is licensing outdoor marijuana growers.

“The idea right now is to focus on the outdoor grow applicants because they’ll need to get the crops in the ground soon. As opposed to indoor grow operations, which are going to have multiple cycles to grow throughout the year,” he said.

No doubt the regulators in Oregon learned from the roll-out of recreational cannabis in Washington, which was hamstrung by short supply in the early months.

After getting the growers licensed, Oregon plans to license laboratories, processors, wholesalers, and — lastly — retailers.

Until retail marijuana stores do open, licensed medical marijuana stores in Oregon can continue to sell recreational marijuana products — but only until Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, 2017, medical stores will no longer be able to conduct recreational sales.

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