Recreational pot goes on sale in Oregon Thursday: What you need to know
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
Recreational marijuana goes on sale for the first time in Oregon starting Thursday, and if history is any indication, business will be booming.
“We can look at Colorado, we can look at Washington, we can see what happened there,” said Matt Wallstatter, the owner of Pure Green on NE 37th and Sandy. “But Oregon’s different, we’ve got a much richer cannabis culture than, I think, either of those places.”
Wallstatter is one of many business owners gearing up for the change.
Until now, he’s only been able to sell to medical marijuana patients, but starting October 1st he’ll also be able to take recreational customers.
Adults 21 and over will be allowed to buy up to 7 grams (1/4 ounce) of marijuana flower, per day. However, edibles, concentrates and topicals will be off-limits except to medical patients for now, as regulations continue to evolve.
“The night of October 1st we’re going to be evaluating and thinking about what we need to tweak for the 2nd, and the night of the 2nd we’ll be looking at the third,” Wallstatter explained, as business plans and staffing levels may need adjustments.
At Pure Green, 7 grams will cost you roughly $75 dollars, depending on the strain. But remember to bring cash; marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so business banking options remain very limited and credit cards are not generally accepted.
As for supply and demand in Washington affecting Oregon, Wallstater said, don’t worry.
“Because there’s no interstate commerce, every state is its own little fiefdom …There’s this sort of firewall between the states and the product can’t move between the two,” he added. “We can only buy product that’s grown in-state, we can only sell product that’s grown in-state, so it doesn’t matter how much or how little they have in Washington, it only matters how much or how little we have here.”
There’s another reason business may be good to start: for now, Wallstater explained, it’s all tax-free.
A state tax of 25% starts in January, and once OLCC-licensed retail shops open in the fall of 2016, that tax is expected to drop. The state tax should be 17% and local cities or counties can enact an additional 3% tax, bringing the total to 20%.
Colorado and Washington have both generated tens of millions of dollars in state tax revenue under their recreational marijuana programs.
Will Oregon be next?
“We’ll just have to see,” Wallstater said.