Oregon Marijuana Bill Good for Businesses, Backers Say

Supporters of a cannabis legalization bill in Oregon believe the measure would create a more favorable business climate than the recreational systems in Washington State and Colorado.

Dave Kopilak, a Portland attorney who helped draft New Approach Oregon’s legalization initiative, told the Oregonian that the bill’s proposed tax model is better for entrepreneurs.

Kopilak said the tax burden on cannabis businesses in Oregon would be less than it is in Colorado and Washington, which would allow retail cannabis stores to better compete with the black market.

Oregon’s proposed system would tax marijuana by weight early in the production process, instead of at the retail end. Under New Approach Oregon’s plan, producers would pay $35 in taxes per ounce on marijuana flowers, $10 an ounce for marijuana leaves and $5 per seedling.

Washington, on the other hand, implements a 25% taxes at three levels: from the grower to processor, the processor to retail shop, and the store to the consumer. The combined tax rate, therefore, can hit 75%.

“It’s hard to see how people make money in Washington on this,” Kopilak told the Oregonian.

New Approach Oregon recently collected enough signatures to put the legalization plan on the November ballot.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, has called Oregon’s effort the organization’s top priority. He also said the bill is the “new gold standard” in recreational cannabis legislation.

2 comments on “Oregon Marijuana Bill Good for Businesses, Backers Say
  1. Mike V on

    As a grower there has to be some level of income to survive. Growing top shelf cannabis is a time consuming and power hungry business. If the taxes are too much for growers they will revert back to the black market for sales. If the cannabis from the dispensaries is too high of cost, patients will return to black market. The black market has been there for decades. I think Washington and Colorado may have underestimated the black market impact on their businesses. I can only hope Oregon leads the nation in helping to combat black market cannabis with this bill. It’s the smart thing to do.

    Reply
  2. Windy City on

    …best regards to Oregon, but I do think Washington and Colorado are doing fine. There is always room for improvement and that will occur, but in the meantime they are in the lead at this early stage of the game by virtue of getting there first…

    Reply

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