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Recreational Marijuana Sales (Graph of the Week)

The big news this morning is that the federal government, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to rescind the so-called Cole memo, or memos as the case may be. For those who don’t know, the New York Times describes it as “an Obama-era policy of discouraging federal prosecutors from bringing charges of marijuana-related […]

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Oregon Recreational Marijuana Forecast

SB 845, among other things, would give our office the recreational marijuana forecast responsibility. While not current law yet, we went ahead and produced such a forecast for the first time in our most recent quarterly forecast. What follows below the fold is an extended summary of our forecast work, including lots of pictures, I […]

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Pushing for Banking Guidelines for Marijuana Businesses

EUGENE, Ore.— Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are working with other lawmakers to pave the way for marijuana businesses to get access to bank accounts. 

The owners of K-9 Chronic in Springfield, Eric Stevens and Chris Curtiss, said business is booming since they opened six months ago. However, business is bittersweet because they are afraid their success may turn them into targets. 

“None of us feel safe even leaving here because we always think that somebody thinks that we have money,” said Stevens. “It would be easy to have a bank. It would be simple.”

According to the owners, running a cash-only business is not only inconvenient, but risky. 

“The state puts a requirement that the safe has to be at least 800 pounds or bolted to the ground, so all the product as well as the money has to go in the safe at the end of the night,” said Curtiss.

Senator Wyden said he’s working with Senator Merkley and lawmakers in Colorado and Washington where marijuana is also legal. They sent a letter to federal financial regulators Thursday pressing them to provide banks with clear guidelines. 

Marijuana is legal in several states, but many business owners are forced to make business payments with cash because many banks won’t give them access to an account, fearing backlash from the federal government.

“We have got to make it possible for people at these lawful businesses to be able to use banks,” said Senator Wyden. 

Stevens and Curtiss said new guidelines would allow them to focus less on accounting and more on their growing business. 

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Border Effect, Weed Edition

The border effect, or the border tax effect, is a very real. Our office has previously written about it regarding sin/vice taxes, retail sales in the Gorge, and a broader look at Oregon-Washington taxes, including an academic paper I, along with my co-author Portland State Prof. Wooster, wrote on retail sales in Washington. So it […]

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2015 Outlook: Measure 91

One of the more interesting and yet unknowable questions in the year ahead is what the impact of Measure 91 will be for Oregon. The basics of the vote itself and the direct implications for Oregonians have been well covered. However, the broader and bigger impact on the state’s economy and public resources are not […]

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