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Oregon Rakes In $60 Million In State Sales Taxes From Marijuana

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Recreational marijuana sales in Oregon produced $60.2 million in state tax -revenue in 2016, the first year of state-taxed pot sales.

For much of the year, -marijuana sellers collected a 25 percent sales tax.

To produce the $60.2 million in tax revenue reported by the state Department of Revenue on Friday, total retail sales of marijuana and -pot-laced products last year would have had to equal about $241 million.

Marijuana tax revenues -exceeded projections, said Mazen -Malik, senior economist for the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office. He had estimated -marijuana sales would -produce $44 million during the year, $16 million less than what came in.

Higher-than-predicted prices for marijuana extracts and edibles may have contributed to the higher than projected tax revenues, Malik said.

Items such as marijuana brownies didn't have a market before Oregon's legalization of recreational pot, he said.

"Usually, people would not buy them from cornerside dealers," Malik said.

Marijuana sales probably were higher than the estimated $241 million because some marijuana sellers during the past three months of the year collected less than the 25 percent sales tax.

The Oregon Health -Authority, which for years had regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, required a 25 percent tax on -recreational pot.

But the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which allowed recreational sales beginning in October, requires sellers to collect a 17 percent sales tax.

OHA oversaw recreational marijuana sales until the fall, when OLCC began regulating the market.

Recreational pot sales in Oregon are "cloudy through Oct. 1 and Dec. 31" because of the split sales tax rate, said Mark Pettinger, OLCC recreational marijuana -program spokesman.

The most marijuana tax money came to the state in October, when dispensaries and retailers turned in more than $7.8 million, according to state Department of Revenue data. The monthly amount dropped to $6.5 million in November and $5.6 million in December.

Different reasons, including the change in tax structure, a backlog in the state lab certification program and fluxes in sales, may have contributed to the drop in taxes.

The OLCC now is the sole regulator of recreational marijuana sales. The Health Authority has -returned to overseeing medical marijuana -dispensaries, which stopped selling recreational pot on Jan. 1.

The number of Oregon recreational pot retailers is growing steadily. At the end of the year, OLCC counted 232 active marijuana retailers. As of Friday, the -number had climbed by 56, to 288 pot -retailers, according to the agency.

Of the OLCC licensed marijuana retailers, 38 are in Lane County, -including 26 in Eugene and four in Springfield.

Recreational marijuana retailers now are required to collect the 17 percent state sales tax, and -possibly up to another 3 percent in local taxes.

The cities of Eugene and Springfield imposed local recreational marijuana sales taxes on Jan. 1, after voter approval in November.

Lane County requires a 3 percent sales tax for recreational pot retailers in unincorporated areas. Six cities in the county have local taxes – Cottage Grove, Veneta, Florence, Dunes City, Oakridge and Westfir.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Oregon Rakes In $60 Million In State Sales Taxes From Marijuana
Author: Dylan Darling
Contact: The Register-Guard
Photo Credit: Kelly Lyon
Website: The Register-Guard
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