Oregon voters to take to the polls on marijuana taxation

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Residents of the state could determine the outcome of a proposed marijuana tax

There are only a small handful of states in the U.S. that don’t charge a sales tax, one of them being Oregon. Voters in the state have repeatedly thwarted attempts to have one added and residents will once again take to the polls next week to vote on whether or not taxes on certain products should be allowed. One of those products is marijuana.

Measure 103 would prevent state lawmakers from introducing any new taxes on virtually all groceries. However, where it stops short is with products such as alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana. Those products could still be taxed.

There’s a good chance that marijuana will be taxed, especially given the amount of money the industry is producing. According to Dan Floyd, the spokesman for Yes on 103, the food and beverage industry works on a margin of only between 1-4%. Adding a tax on groceries will help lift the industry.

However, no business is willing to eat those cost increases. They will be passed on to the public through higher prices for the goods they purchase, which will have a tidal wave effect on the entire state. Marijuana could be an unanticipated target of expense reductions, as residents work to rebalance their budgets according to any new sales tax scheme.

The upcoming midterms on November 6 are already poised to possibly be a game-changer across the country. Oregonians need to be prepared to understand the implications of any changes that will see them have to pull more money out of their pockets to cover the same expenses they have today.