Oregon's billion-dollar weed economy faces new challenges
Story by Zane Sparling, Portland Tribune - Story Source
|Challenges of the Oregon's cannabis industry||Weed industry in Oregon|
Oregon recreational marijuana sales have climbed to record highs, but some say the industry's woes also have reached an apex. The difficulties range from an unfavorable federal tax code to a dangerous crime wave, wildfires, and cities and counties hungry for a larger slice of the tax pie.
"Businesses are still struggling," says Kim Lundin, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association. "High sales don't transfer to overall industry success."
Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, has advanced legislation that would allow cities and counties to bump their marijuana sales tax from 3% to as much as 10%. Another proposal authored by Rep. Lily Morgan, R-Grants Pass, would create an internal wholesale tax on any marijuana transported across county lines.
The temptation to backfill shrinking local budgets with cannabis dollars is worrisome, according to industry boosters.
"If you look at it holistically," said cannabis economist Beau Whitney, "I think the Oregon market is under duress."