Oregon’s Cannabis Industry Beats Back Consumer Tax Increase Bill (For Now)
Oregon’s cannabis industry notched a victory in the ongoing, and seemingly endless, effort to allow cities and counties to increase recreational marijuana sales taxes from the current 20% (allocated as 17% to the state and 3% to local jurisdictions) to as much as 27%, with all of the increased tax revenue going to local jurisdictions. This measure, currently known as HB 2505, is similar to measures in each of the last two legislative sessions that advanced further than industry advocates found comfortable.
On Monday, February 27, 2023, the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon (CIAO) announced that they learned that HB 2505 does not currently have the support to be voted out of committee. HB 2505 was scheduled to have a second hearing the following day but was pulled from the schedule. CIAO advocates caution that while HB 2505 appears dead for now, the effort to increase recreational sales taxes is still ongoing. In previous sessions, iterations of the proposal appeared dead only to be revived through other legislative channels with little warning.
In one of our previous blog posts covering this tax hike proposal, we outlined several of the arguments for why this was bad public policy. Those arguments remain true today and are as applicable to HB 2505 and any similar proposals. The bottom line is, it’s a regressive tax that will only exacerbate existing weaknesses in Oregon’s recreational cannabis market. Naturally, it is Republicans and local jurisdictions in Eastern Oregon that are pushing this potentially destructive proposal.
CALL TO ACTION
Please take some time to sign CIAO’s petition so that your voice can be heard in Salem.