aamericans for safe access
alabama medical marijuana coalition
Americans for Safe Access
For many voters, a key selling point of recreational cannabis legalization is the possible tax windfall from the sale of cannabis and related products.
At least two cities in Oregon are taking action now, weeks before the results of the state vote on marijuana legalization, in the hopes of securing such a windfall for their own municipalities.
Under Measure 91, only the state has the authority to tax marijuana.
By acting now, however, the community of Hillsboro – in the suburbs of Portland – and Ashland near the California border both hope to have their local marijuana tax grandfathered in, should the measure pass.
Ashland has already completed its measure and established the additional tax. Hillsboro’s city council will vote next week on a similar proposal.
While the cities might benefit financially, they also risk encouraging marijuana businesses to establish in other locations.
Entrepreneurs hoping to open retail marijuana shops in Oregon might struggle to find a location if residents legalize cannabis this fall.
An informal poll found that roughly a third of local property owners are not willing to lease space to recreational marijuana stores, while 26% said they are not sure if they would.
The Portland Business Journal conducted the poll online, asking readers who own suitable property to participate. The publication received 73 responses by Monday morning.
Nearly 15% of landlords opposed to renting to cannabis businesses cited moral grounds, saying they personally oppose marijuana legalization and do not want to support the industry.
However, some in the “no” and “maybe” groups said their main concern is the level of risk.
With continued normalization of marijuana laws across the United States, these landlords may be persuaded in time to treat marijuana businesses as any other tenant.
Oregon residents will vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana sales in November.
Medical marijuana regulators in Oregon have conducted two dozen surprise visits at dispensaries over the past three months, one of which resulted in a closure.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees the state’s cannabis industry, shared that information at a weekend meeting with more than 100 marijuana business owners and employees. Officials held the meeting to discuss the first few months of the state’s legal dispensary program.
Tom Burns, director of the dispensary program, said a dispensary in Portland was forced to close after inspectors witnessed consumption of cannabis on the premises, the sale of products to unlicensed customers and security problems.
At the meeting, regulators provided dispensary representatives with a checklist to prepare for the inspections. Action items on the list include making sure surveillance equipment records for 30 days, using proper packaging and labeling, and being stringent with checking patient licenses.
Businesses also need to prepare for an inventory audit by regulators to ensure products are not being sold to the black market, Burns said.
The forum allowed business representatives to pepper regulators with questions.
Among the queries:
Can a dispensary remain open if a school opens next door? (No.)
Can a dispensary ditch the childproof packaging if the customer is elderly and isn’t around children? (No.)
Is the dispensary or the grower responsible for ensuring that products are tested? (Dispensary.)
Can a dispensary sell seeds to a grower? (No.)