OR Cities to Push Legislature on Local MJ Taxes

One of the ways backers of recreational cannabis sales in Oregon planned to fight the black market was by prohibiting local governments from enacting their own taxes or fees on the rec industry.

But if the League of Oregon Cities has its way, the state Legislature will overturn that provision in the new law.

The league announced this week that it will ask state lawmakers to amend Measure 91, the ballot initiative approved earlier this month, to allow at least 70 cities interested in implementing their own various taxes on top of the state sales tax, thereby driving up the cost of legal marijuana for consumers.

The taxes written into Measure 91 were a deliberate move by the authors of the measure to combat black market sales, but would also put Oregon in a good position to compete with the Washington State rec market, which has a tax rate so high that illegal marijuana has been kept alive and well.

As the Oregon law stands, marijuana producers would be taxed $35 an ounce on all flowers, $10 an ounce for leaves and $5 for immature plants.

A number of Oregon cities also passed pre-emptive sales taxes for recreational marijuana in advance of the November vote to try and have their taxes grandfathered in.

The league also plans to ask lawmakers to let city councils and county commissions to ban recreational sales, instead of requiring a vote of the people to do so.

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4 comments on “OR Cities to Push Legislature on Local MJ Taxes
  1. Eric Layland on

    This is a short-sided move by League of OR Cities. The current proposed tax structure could have prices 20-30% less than Washington State. Currently WA is benefiting from cross boarder traffic from OR with the state reaping more tax dollars. When OR goes operational with recreational use they will see an influx of Washingtonians going south to buy.

    Our analysis and infographic:

  2. Rona on

    I think that is the city or county imposes their own tax or a ban then they can not share in the overall state revenues from the sales tax the state has planned on imposing.

  3. bongstar420 on

    There are multiple provisions in M91 addressing this.

    SECTION 42 would be the main one

    And, no, the Oregon tax is not highly competitive. WA production amounts to a 50% tax because you need a growing and processing license to produce a crop.

    Oregon’s tax amounts to 44% at WA prices. If WA growers become more reasonable, we won’t see sheer prices being the determining factor. That is at least several years from now though.

  4. WaWigle on

    I always thought that real Oregonians didn’t like sales taxes. Why are they letting one in now? Of coarse I haven’t been back there in over 20 years, but has Oregon finally let those darn Californian immigrants talk them into getting a sales tax???? if you did, then shame on you.

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