There is one bright spot in the economy: marijuana sales.
In April, Oregon saw $89 million in legal marijuana sales. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission reports marijuana sales were up 45% in April, compared to last year, making April 2020 the largest month on record for the state.
Proponents believe the coronavirus pandemic could be the catalyst for other states and the federal government to legalize marijuana because it would bring tax revenue, create jobs and give the economy a much-needed shot in the arm.
Oregon’s annual tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales exceeds $100 million. The state collects 17% tax on retail cannabis sales, while counties or cities can apply a 3% tax. Legal pot has provided a steady stream of tax revenue when other sources like personal income or state lottery revenues are less predictable due to the struggling economy and stay-at-home orders.
Many cannabis dispensaries were deemed ‘esssential’ in many states, including Oregon, allowing them to remain open during government restrictions.
“There’s a reason why over 25 states have declared marijuana dispensaries to be essential services. These are things people rely on,” explained Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. [Read more at KGW8]
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