Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax. Well that goes for everything except when buying recreational weed. Stuff like cigarettes and alcohol are taxed at the wholesale stage before they arrive at stores. It was supposed to be like that for weed sales. But that’s set to change. Oregon lawmakers are looking to stick it to STONERS by tacking on a hefty 17 percent sales tax to the purchase of recreational pot when it becomes available for sales to all adults on October 1st later this year. Weed becomes completely legal for all Oregon adults on July 1st—they just have no place to buy it (and pay the steep tax) until the fall.
Anyhow yesterday the Oregon House signed off on the new tax measure. The legislation changes what was written into Oregon’s original measure that voters approved last year—pot producers and growers were the ones responsible for paying taxes on weed.
But GOP Representative Carl Wilson thinks that adding the steep 17 percent sales tax will actually lead to lower prices, reports Oregon’s Public Broadcasting, “The rationale for this is that lower taxes result in reduced diversion of cannabis into the black market,” he said. “Something that we’re all concerned about.”
Wait. What the fuck is this guy smoking? How in the hell is adding huge sales tax to Oregon’s recreational weed considered lowering taxes? And how will that lead to lower prices? Pot prices are in decline over in Colorado and it has nothing to do taxes. According to a new analysis by Convergex what’s happening is “a natural result for any maturing industry, as dispensaries try to find the market’s equilibrium price.” They report that the average price of an 1/8th ounce of consumer cannabis has dropped from $50-$70 to $30-$45 since last year—ounces sell for between $250 and $300 on average compared to $300-$400.
Why the decline in pot prices? The main reason cited by Convergex is increased competition. They also point out that existing pot shops are “vertically integrating by buying additional warehouses and expanding their grow facilities, increasing supply.”
Anyhow Colorado taxes recreational weed at only ten percent. In April the state collected $4.39 million in retail sales tax—a 98% increase over last year. Just imagine how much money Oregon’s going to rake in by sticking stoners with a 17 percent tax on weed.
How do you feel about forcing Oregon residents to pay sales tax on weed but not on beer? Let us know in the comments below…