Oregon Takes in Over $25.5 Million in Taxes on Marijuana Sales

The medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon have sold $102 million of recreational cannabis since the beginning of the year, when a 25% sales tax was imposed by the state on marijuana.

The state collected close to $25.5 million in taxes on the sale of marijuana between January and the end of June and should meet projections in tax collections set by state economists.

The most recent tax figures the Department of Revenue in Oregon released on Monday include the beginning of sales of marijuana-infused edibles.

These products includes a number of different sweets, snacks and drinks that starting this past June were available to people 21 years of age or older.

It was difficult to project how popular the edibles would be due to not being able to measure how big the black market for the products is, said a state economist.

He added that consumers do not buy an infused Kit Kat from someone standing on a street corner. Still, officials expected to see an increase from the sales of edibles.

One official said they know some people do not like to smoke so they would likely purchase edibles. Others would try them because they represent something new and want to experience how they affect you after eating them.

It has been estimated by state economists that Oregon will collect approximately $44.4 million in taxes for sales of marijuana and related products during 2016, which is the first year for the tax.

The state is expecting that there will be a cost to regulate the marijuana of $28.7 million, which of the total taxes will cover $12 million and the rest will come from fees as well as the licensing of the different marijuana related businesses.

The remainder is to be distributed by a formula that the law spelled out including 40% to the Common School Fund of the state, 20% to alcoholism, mental health and drug services, 15% to the state’s state police, 10% to county law enforcement, 10% to city law enforcement and 5% to the Health Authority of Oregon to be used for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, treatment services as well as early intervention.

The medical marijuana locations in Oregon are able to sell a limited amount of their cannabis flowers, seeds and starter plants to people 21 or older since October of 2015.

The temporary 25% tax for the state started on January 1, 2016.

That tax will eventually be replaced with another one that ranges between 17% and 20% once the regulation is taken over by the Oregon Liquor Control of sales of recreational marijuana at some point later in 2016.