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Ted Wheeler

Mayor, City of Portland

main phone: 503-823-4120

Opinion line: 503-823-4127

1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Cannabis: Local Control Rewards Local Communities

In the year since legalizing recreational marijuana use, we have seen both a significant increase in tax revenue and the creation of 19,000 industry-connected jobs across the State of Oregon. The revenue generated from Portland's 3% tax on cannabis and cannabis products, approved by Portlanders in 2016, will total around $3 million for FY 2017-18.

Throughout the legalization process, our goal has been to ensure the tax money generated is used to assist small and minority-owned businesses, as well as to support record expungement for historically marginalized groups that have been disproportionately targeted by drug crime laws.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the city’s bureaus responsible for Portland’s cannabis regulation has a provided clear leadership on how our Cannabis revenue should be spent.  “We have a moral obligation to devote significant funds to remediate the harmful effect of our failed drug policies, especially on communities of color.”  She also adds that we need,  “to ensure we reduce the barriers of entry into the industry for business owners who have historically lacked access.”

The State of Oregon has followed suit. Much of the revenue generated from the state tax goes towards funding the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program and drug rehabilitation treatment centers, as well as drug enforcement efforts.                                               

Portland’s cannabis industry has put us on the map for progressive marijuana policies, has helped make us a hotspot for tourism, and has generated funds that help make the city and state a safer and healthier place to live.

Image(s) provided by and used with the permission of farmapdx.com