Oregonians can buy recreational marijuana tax-fee until next year

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

City Sets Rules For Portland Pot Stores.

PORTLAND, Ore. “We already have notice that people are going to be camping out,” said Joe Dunne, the owner of Zion Cannabis in downtown Portland. “Obviously it’s going to be a big day, and we do expect a big turnout.The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) announced new rules that would license new recreational marijuana retail applicants and allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to become aligned with the existing retail system.While the 2015 Oregon legislative session wasn’t perfect for the Oregon cannabis community, as usual, it was two steps forward and one step back, it is a sign that the marijuana movement is progressing well when the Oregon governor hosts cannabis advocates at marijuana bills signing ceremony. — Discounts on pot, free food for folks with the munchies and live music will usher in a historic day for Oregon and for marijuana advocates across the country, as recreational sales of the drug begin in the state.

On September 23, the WSLCB issued the emergency rules which would allow applicants to apply for a retail license that may sell both recreational and medical marijuana products. Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 844, Senate Joint Memorial 12, House Bill 2041 and Senate Bill 460 with key legislators, lobbyists and activists. That’s going to change (Thursday).” While 23 states permit some form of medical marijuana, only Colorado and Washington states have functioning recreational marijuana marketplaces.

For the time being, stores will be able to open from 7am to 9pm, but many want to stay open later considering there are some 24/7 medical dispensaries. “Spontaneous purchases lead to DUII, and that’s a major concern for us. We’ve seen several interesting products launch into the fledgling market — and now have a much better idea of what a high tolerance our customers have for experimentation in taste, buzz and experience. We don’t know what exactly the interaction between alcohol and marijuana may be and people are more likely to have consumed alcohol later into the evening. The new rules were instituted in response to the Cannabis Patient Protection Act passed this year to ensure medical marijuana outlets are regulated in a similar fashion to recreational retailers.

Adding another state to the legal weed column, Oregon’s regulation of pot is emboldening drug legalization advocates nationally and may add to a weakening of America’s anti-drug arguments abroad. The state will begin taxing sales at 25% in January after lawmakers spend the next several months crafting a framework for charging taxes and licensing additional retailers.

In Washington, we’ve seen a renaissance in the “craft” look and feel of the marketplace, with many of the high-end recreational stores and products providing a heightened brand experience for the savvy consumer. Under the law, adults 21 and over will be allowed to buy up to a quarter-ounce of cannabis “buds,” as well as THC-containing candies, brownies, and other prepared products. When you think about it, this is just what you’d expect from the home of high-end coffee, craft beer and an innovative slow-food and farm-to-table culinary scene. There is still more work to be done on marijuana policy at the Oregon Legislature, including reducing marijuana penalties to be completely in-line with our alcohol laws and ensuring that sick and disabled patients have access to medicine, but today can be a day of celebration for how far we have come. Oregon advocates should be commended for helping craft cannabis laws that create jobs, better prioritize law enforcement resources and can be the model for the rest of the country.

Last month, Colorado’s marijuana buyers paid more than $12 million in taxes, with about $3 million of that directly earmarked to fund school-construction projects. Second priority goes to applicants who owned or operated a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have a steady history of paying all state taxes and fees and have maintained local business licenses. In a statement, the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project said voters in Nevada, Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts are expected to consider whether to legalize recreational sales next fall, while lawmakers in Vermont and Rhode Island may also legalize it.

But marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, prompting conflicts between Colorado and its neighbors over the flow of pot across the borders. “States are proving that regulating marijuana works, both for medical and broader adult use,” said Lauren Vazquez, an MPP spokeswoman. “We expect to see several more states adopt similar laws over the next couple years, and it’s only a matter of time before Congress follows. The marijuana prohibition era is steadily coming to an end.” Legalization critics, including the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, argue legalizing pot use will create a new generation of Big Tobacco-like customers and businesses. About six months ago I started researching alternative delivery-methods for consumers who want all the benefits of marijuana without the lifestyle and health implications of smoking it. Medical marijuana will still be available, but in more conservative towns such as East Oregon’s La Grande, recreational pot is barred for now. “[A] store that is no different than a grocery store; you can walk in and get your marijuana. This month Mirth Provisions will bring some of this thinking to market with our new sublingual product Drift, which provides an incomparable experience that’s a true first: a smokeless high that works 3-4 times faster and has more potency than anything else you can buy.

Perfect for a concert, backyard barbecue or happy hour, Drift is just one example of how the recreational marijuana market is becoming more responsive to the broad needs of many different kinds of consumers. Licensed producers were only permitted to grow at 70 percent of their capacity to prevent overproduction and stay within the limits of the recreational demand. Nationally, a group of current and former police and narcotics agents are actually calling for the U.S. to decriminalize and regulate harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. In January, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos openly questioned the decades-long partnership with the U.S., despite his country receiving over $9 billion in military aid over the past 15 years aimed at combating the drug trade. “How can [we] tell a Colombian peasant who is planting a coca or marijuana leaf that we’re going to throw him in jail, while in many countries in the world, and in various U.S. states, this marijuana is legal, and increasingly tolerated,” Santos said.

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