Tag: oregon

Portland Wants Cannabis Social Clubs

You may be thinking, “duh!”

But yes, finally, the city of Portland is joining the fight for social consumption.

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Stating that regulated cannabis social clubs would boost tourism, the City of Roses has joined lobbying efforts with cannabis businesses in support of Senate Bill 307 that would allow cannabis consumption at licensed lounges. The consumption guidelines would be similar to the current legal framework for tobacco smoking patios.

Presently, it is illegal to consume cannabis publicly in Oregon. This means no consuming in the park, on the beach, walking on a sidewalk, in a hotel room, even in a rented house (unless you live under the small minority of landlords who permit cannabis smoke on their rental properties). If it is not completely private property, there’s no cannabis consumption allowed.

This presents quite a dilemma for tourists coming to Oregon for their new legal pot-buying experience. Adults can purchase cannabis legally, yet they must consume said cannabis illegally (unless they are the rare tourist who knows a homeowner in Portland). Opening the door for regulating cannabis social clubs would give tourists a place to consume their cannabis safely and legally.

Cannabis social clubs would also act as just that, a social environment for cannabis lovers to unite. While it is legal to buy cannabis, forcing people to sneak around in order to consume the cannabis defeats the empowered freedom embedded in legalization.

Senate Bill 307 would issue licenses only in Oregon cities or counties that pass ordinances allowing social clubs.

Proponents of SB 307 include Mayor Ted Wheeler who said, “The same way as Oregon and our city celebrate our craft beer and wine industry, Portland welcomes and wants to provide opportunities for our emerging craft cannabis industry.” The Oregon Craft Beer industry brought in $4.49 billion to contribute to the statewide economy while the craft Wine industry in Oregon has an economic impact of $3.35 billion. The cannabis industry is on track to compete with these numbers which will generate more jobs for Oregonians and dramatically stimulate local economies.

However, opponents of the bill are concerned about air quality, the dangers of secondhand smoke, and the message cannabis social clubs would send to Oregon’s children. “Our concern is that the normalization of smoking when it is allowed in public, erodes the decades of work that we’ve done in public health to roll back the social norms around tobacco and smoking products,” argues Jennifer Vines, deputy health director for Multnomah County.

While cannabis social clubs may have a few kinks to work out, the safety it would bring to cannabis consumers is important for the consumers themselves and the surrounding community.

 

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Oregon Economic Forecast Projects Marijuana for First Time

For the first time in Oregon’s history, marijuana is included in the state’s economic forecast presented to Gov. Kate Brown each fiscal quarter.

Presented by the Office of Economic Analysis’ Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the purpose of this statewide economic forecast is to “provide information to planners and policy makers in state agencies and private organizations for use in their decision making processes.”

oregon-recreational-marijuana-sales-forecastAs hopeful entrepreneurs pour millions of dollars into the Oregon cannabis industry, this economic outlook can advise business owners on trends in their nascent enterprise.

So far, Oregon’s first year of recreational marijuana sales has exceeded Washington’s first year, while only slowly trailing behind Colorado’s first year (after adjusting for population size).

Since Oregon has only been selling recreational marijuana for one year, and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) purposely staggered licenses to not overwhelm their small workforce, the numbers for this year should not be completely relied upon as a forecast for the future. The document states that the sales and tax collections of recreational marijuana remain “highly uncertain” and that there “have been substantial changes during this time that complicated any analysis.”

To clarify these substantial changes, one year ago recreational sales began for only dried cannabis flower. As the months went on and more businesses were granted production licenses, a full range of products began flooding the market. Oregon has yet to see a complete year with sales of cannabis flower, extracts, edibles, and topicals.

oregon-marijuana-tax-receiptsThere were also changes in the tax rates halfway throughout the year — early-start sales through medical dispensaries were taxed at 25%, while OLCC licensed retailers are now taxed at 17%, with the option for each city to vote on adding an additional 3%.

With all the changes in the last year, it is difficult to gain a solid understanding of the economic forecast. Luckily, we have two other legal states, Washington and Colorado, to look to for economic trends — both states have seen booming growth in terms of sales and tax revenue in year two.

While optimism for the future is strong, the DAS office is “not forecasting revenues to be quite as strong as those seen in Colorado over their second and third years.” Simply because of the highly uncertain nature of this industry.

One risk pointed out in the document is that the supply might not be able to meet the demand. Oregon has already experienced regulatory bottlenecks where companies are unable to get their licenses, renewals, or tests completed in a timely manner — and this may happen again as the OLCC adjusts regulations over the next couple of years.

While there are certainly many threats to the next year of recreational marijuana tax revenue such as the federal government, the overall price of marijuana decreasing, and the aforementioned regulatory bottlenecking — there are also many encouraging factors that could increase sales such as more social acceptance, more conversions from the medical market to recreational market, and more conversions from the black market to the recreational market.

The overall feel of the economic forecast was cautiously optimistic. Sales and tax revenue are increasing but the last year of numbers is not solid enough to make a reliable prediction.

However, a current bill in the Oregon Senate that would allow marijuana smoking lounges would certainly boost cannabis sales and Oregon tourism. It’s a controversial bill, but currently, public consumption of marijuana is illegal — the only place where it is legal to consume marijuana is in a private residence which leaves those renting, living in government housing, or visiting from out of state with nowhere to consume legally.

What Are Oregonians Smoking?

The numbers are in! Oregonians bought and consumed $37 million worth of cannabis products in the month of March alone.

Read the Complete Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast here.

 

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Oregon’s Bill to Protect Cannabis-Consuming Employees

It is legal in Oregon for anyone 21 and over to consume marijuana, yet laws still remain that discriminate against cannabis consumers. One existing law based on an Oregon Supreme Court decision gives employers the right to fire and refuse to hire individuals who test positive or admit to using cannabis, even if they have […]

 

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »