Is marijuana legal in Oregon? Even though the state have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21 more than two years ago, dozens of Oregon localities continue to ban both medical and recreational marijuana sales on the local level. So, even despite being fully legalized in Oregon, legal weed is a controversial topic for both lawmakers and entrepreneurs. But last week, when nine states decided whether to allow cannabis use in some form, some Oregon communities made decisions that are crucial for Oregon cannabis businesses. WeedLex will tell you more about the results of the last week's ballot and the changes that are to follow it.
Over 100 communities in Oregon voted on the implementation of local tax in addition to the state's general marijuana sales tax. Most localities, including Portland, Eugene, Bend, and Salem, passed the marijuana sales tax measures that allowed local authorities to increase recreational weed sales taxes by up to 3 percent. The tax revenue from this additional cannabis sales tax will go strait to the local budget.
In 2015, when Oregon launched recreational weed sales, local businesses and marijuana users enjoyed a few months of tax-free marijuana sales. The state's current recreational cannabis tax rate of 25 percent took effect on Jan. 1, 2016. But next year, starting from Jan. 1, 2017, Oregon's marijuana sales tax will be lowered to 17 percent. In the communities that passed local marijuana tax measures, the cannabis tax will still be lower than the current tax rate―up to 20 percent.
Aside from the marijuana tax measures, voters in 60 communities voted on whether to allow medical or recreational marijuana in their cities. Most localities supported recreational marijuana ban initiatives, although voters in 15 Oregon towns, including Albany, Oregon City, and Scappoose, voted against banning marijuana businesses and allowed medical and/or recreational weed sales withing their borders.
By lifting the ban on marijuana sales in their hometowns, the voters made a step towards two major improvements. First, it will allow cannabis entrepreneurs to open more marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities across the state, creating more jobs for local professionals. And secondly, those localities that allowed marijuana sales within their borders, will also start receiving cannabis tax revenues.