Oregon’s Cannabis Sales Tax Will Make Or Break The State’s Revenue Opportunity
Legalizing marijuana in Oregon comes with a unique twist.
Now that it’s election year, many grassroots campaigns are determined to obtain support to get cannabis initiatives or referendum on their states’ ballots by the time November rolls around.
The past two decades have been very successful for cannabis supporters, with about 23 states now allowing physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for certain illnesses. The marijuana industry as a whole has come a long way.
The idea of marijuana being legal anywhere was once a far-fetched thought, but it is now a reality in many states.
Several states such as Nevada, Ohio and California are working hard to obtain the necessary number of signatures to get a cannabis ballot initiative in front of voters.
This is expected to become easier to accomplish, now that cannabis users aren’t the only ones benefiting from the legalization of marijuana.
Legislators in states where marijuana is legal are reaping the benefits of cannabis sales tax. Schools, law enforcement and drug abuse education programs have greatly benefited from the tax revenue.
In fact, Colorado anticipates seeing an approximate $80 million in tax revenue for 2015. But this is nothing compared to the success Oregon hopes to achieve.
Oregon had the largest legal shop infrastructure when recreational marijuana was legalized, so many people are expecting Oregon to be the leading “green” state.
However, due to Oregon’s unique sales design, tax revenue hasn’t been what was expected.
Where some states enforce taxes on all aspects of the marijuana process such as the growers, the processors and the retailers, dispensary owners in Oregon are allowed to pass along the taxes to their clients, absorb 100% of the taxes themselves or disperse the tax evenly between their growers and processors.
In contrast with other states, Oregon state regulators aren’t involved with the pricing at al. Instead they are content with however each dispensary decides to deal with their taxes, as long as the state gets its fair share of the tax revenue.
Oregon dispensary owners are faced with a dilemma that dispensary owners in other states don’t have to worry about.
Do they spread the taxes evenly among their growers, processors and clients? Do they personally absorb the entire amount of tax in hopes of ensuring a loyal clientele? Or do the pass the tax responsibility onto the client?
The Oregonian interviewed several dispensary owners and found that consumers and dispensary owners have mixed feelings about Oregon’s tax design.
Some customers have no problem paying the tax on legal products, while others rely on the black market to purchase tax-free marijuana.
(Photo Credit: dailyfinance.com)