On January 4, 2016, the short period of tax-free sales of recreational marijuana from medical dispensaries in Oregon – will end. Tax-free sales began on October 1, when the only recreational cannabis legally available in the state was sold through existing licensed medical dispensaries.
The tax will be 25 percent, says Mark Cusick of Herbal Grasslands in South Salem.
The rate will apply to every legal dispensary in the state. It will change later in the year.
On January 4, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which licenses and regulates commercial marijuana in the state, will also begin accepting applications for recreational growers, wholesalers, processors and retail outlets, and will begin issuing commercial recreational marijuana licenses to them.
Retail stores licensed by the OLCC will open sometime in the second half of 2016, at a date yet unknown.
At that time, when recreational marijuana is sold in designated licensed recreational stores, the taxes will range from 17 to 20 percent. The legislature set the base tax rate at 17 percent; however, it made provisions under certain circumstances for cities and counties to add up to an additional 3 percent tax. The retailer may also retain 2 percent of the tax to cover their expenses.
Taxes on recreational marijuana will be collected by the Oregon Department of Revenue at the retail level, and are estimated to bring in $10.7 million in revenue for the 2015-2017 biennium. Those monies will primarily fund Oregon schools, mental health and drug services and law enforcement.