Limited recreational marijuana sales began in Oregon on October 1. Since that time, customers have not had to pay any tax on recreational marijuana. That changes next week when a recreational marijuana sales tax goes into effect in Oregon. Per Oregon Live:
Recreational marijuana consumers in Oregon should prepare for sticker shock starting Monday when a 25 percent sales tax kicks in.
The Oregon Legislature this year signed off on allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot to anyone 21 and older. Those sales, which began Oct. 1, have been tax free. But that holiday comes to an end Jan. 4, when the state will impose a sales tax that extends until the end of 2016.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the agency regulating the recreational marijuana industry, isn’t expected to open stores until late 2016. Once the liquor commission’s program is up and running, the 25 percent tax will be replaced with a permanent 17 percent sales tax.
You can check out Noelle’s article (linked to above) for some answers to frequently asked questions. The start of the sales tax in Oregon is bittersweet. On one hand, I like that tax revenues from marijuana sales are going to be going to schools and other areas that definitely need the funding. On the other hand, I feel that 25% is too high, and will no doubt result in some customers reverting to the black market. How do TWB readers feel? Is the tax too high? If it’s too high, what would a better tax rate be? Or do you feel that the tax rate is fine, and it won’t affect your buying habits?