OR Agency Requests $583K to Implement Rec Cannabis

Recreational marijuana legalization in Oregon won’t come cheap.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is tasked with overseeing the rollout of the new industry, asked state lawmakers for $583,000 to help pay for additional staffers, legal advice and other professional services so it can implement the new law.

Of that amount, $333,000 is slated to pay for just four new positions, including a program manager, two policy analysts and a public affairs officer, The Oregonian reported. The other quarter million was suggested by the state’s chief financial officer to help with additional anticipated costs.

But the pricetag for implementation probably won’t end there.

The commission said initial costs could hit $3.5 million, adding that it will likely need more staffers to help choose technology applications for tracking financial records, process business license applicants, audit tax and sales reports, and more.

After the program is fully up and running, it will cost the state $6.4 million a year to maintain, the commission predicted.

State lawmakers will take up the budget request early next week. The commission is scheduled to adopt regulations for the rec industry by Jan. 1, 2016, and to start accepting business applications two days later.