A Portland, Ore., suburb is considering putting a sales tax on recreational marijuana while it’s still illegal in hopes of getting a cut of the revenue if voters pass a measure allowing its recreational use in November.
The Hillsboro, Ore., city council will vote on the ordinance next week, which would tax 10 percent of the gross sale amount paid for all non-medical marijuana products. Ashland, Ore., near the California border, approved a sales tax on marijuana last month, and a Portland marijuana advisory committee is also discussing the possibility.
The municipalities are on a time crunch to okay any taxes before November, and there’s no guarantee they’d stick. Measure 91 only allows the state to tax marijuana, so local governments are hoping they’ll be able to get their taxes grandfathered in if they pass them now.
“Measure 91 states that the state has sole taxing authority on marijuana,” Hillsboro spokesman Patrick Preston told The Washington Post in an e-mail. “If it passes, it would be difficult, if not impossible for Hillsboro to approve a local marijuana sales tax after Measure 91 takes effect.”
According to a May poll conducted for Oregon Public Broadcasting, 43 percent of Oregonians support legalizing marijuana while 51 percent oppose it.