On June 23, 2021, the Oregon Senate approved on a vote of 23-6 a measure (SB 864) that, if passed by the House of Representatives and signed by Governor Kate Brown, will allow cities and counties to raise their portion of the sales tax on marijuana items sold in recreational dispensaries from 3%, as allowed under current law, to 10%. This means that the total tax applied at the time of sale could increase from 20% to 27%, representing a 35% tax hike to Oregon recreational cannabis consumers.
While the bill, if it becomes law, will not automatically result in a tax increase, it will allow the governing bodies of cities and counties to raise the marijuana sales tax within their own jurisdictions, much like current law. However, if past experience is predictive, it is nearly certain that most or all local governments will take the necessary steps to enact the tax increase. Customers who present current, valid OMMP cards at the time of sale will continue to be exempt from this tax.
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The measure now moves to the House for consideration and, based on the vote in the Senate, is likely to pass unless constituents make their voices heard in opposition. If you’d like to make your voice heard, you can use this online tool to look up your representative. The legislative session is set to expire on Sunday, June 27, 2021, so time is of the essence.
Kevin Jacoby is an attorney at Green Light Law Group. He has focused his career on advising small to medium-sized businesses both in litigation matters and in all aspects of administrative compliance and employment relations. In addition to business-to-business litigation, Kevin has devoted a significant amount of his practice to administrative law.
This article originally appeared on Green Light Law Group and has been reposted with permission.