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Recreational Marijuana Sales in Oregon Begin; Recreational Pot is Free of Tax for Now but Eventual Tax Revenue Could be Significant

It is official, Recreational Pot is for Sale in Oregon:

Oregon made it official, this week it became just one of several states that has passed state law legalizing recreational marijuana.  As of Thursday of this week, residents in Oregon that are 21 years of age or older can legally buy, possess and use recreational marijuana.  More specifically, Oregon residents over 21 years of age are allowed to purchase up to a quarter ounce of dried marijuana.  Currently, the recreational marijuana can be purchased at one of the over 200 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.  Right now, that sale of recreational marijuana in Oregon will be tax free, but this will soon change in 2016.

 How will Pot be Taxed in Oregon:

Consumers of recreational marijuana in Oregon are happy to find out that their purchase is not currently taxed, but the disappointing news is that eventually, the taxes will come.  It is expected that recreational marijuana will be taxed shortly after the 2016 calendar year gets under way.  As of January 5, 2016, recreational pot sales will be subject to a tax of 25 percent.  How much money will the recreational marijuana tax bring in for the state?  Well, there are few examples out there to act as a model right now, but Colorado has initiated a similar tax and the tax revenue has outpaced gains from the state’s alcohol tax by almost double.

Availability of Recreational Marijuana in Oregon:

Although state law makes recreational marijuana legal in the state, there is some wiggle room in the law which gives municipalities the power to keep their region clear of the substance.  Oregon Measure 91 has language that allows counties that vote against marijuana sales.  If a majority of voters are against it, then the county can access the power to keep the county free of the substance in a way that is similar to how counties were kept dry of alcohol after prohibition ended.

 

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