Since January of 2016, Oregon has implemented a tax with cannabis sales (From October 2015 to January 2016, cannabis was without tax). Just like Colorado, it’s raking in tax revenue of extreme amounts which in the eyes of most would be considered a good thing. After all, when Colorado went through the same thing, it ended up having so much tax revenue that they had to start giving it back. In Oregon though, the industry is faced with a different problem.
When taking a good hard look at the cannabis industry in Oregon (really I’m sure you could say this about any recreational state), there’s an obvious issue of cash. Cash, while being dependable, has proved to be somewhat of a headache for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It’s easy for the consumers but literally taxing on time for the OLCC.
Every dispensary in Oregon is required to collect taxes throughout the month and turn it into the OLCC. Sounds easy, right? Not necessarily. Because dispensaries cannot legally have bank accounts, they’re usually doing this all with cash. They have to make an appointment with the OLCC and take it all in. The OLCC does accept checks and money orders but as mentioned above, dispensaries don’t have access to a bank account and a check book like the rest of us, making this a manual process.
With the new regulations that were pushed through on October 1st (there are many and more continue to pop up daily), the OLCC is already spread thin by new applications for the marijuana workers permit and dispensaries applying for recreational licenses. Add to that mess the monthly appointments for paying taxes and you can see why the OLCC is in a tight situation.
While the OLCC does have some tips on how to make the tax payment process more efficient and is supposedly making some adjustments for those that have to go through all of this, as of this point there is no easy solution. Whether we like it or not, dispensaries still can’t have bank accounts and the OLCC is still going to push through regulations that are complicated and time consuming.