Rising marijuana sales leave pot shops flush with cash they can't deposit

Two months from now, on July 1, Oregon will become the fourth state to allow residents to legally purchase marijuana for recreational use. In anticipation of legalization, the governing body that will oversee marijuana licensing and sales is preparing for something unexpected: A huge influx of cold, hard cash.

Legal marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington have surpassed revenue expectations in their first few years. But when marijuana businesses try to pay their taxes, the federal law that makes marijuana illegal limits their access to financial institutions.


Medical marijuana patients fret about new grower limits being considered by Oregon legislators

A bill that would limit the size of medical marijuana growing operations in Oregon is generating angry opposition from some patients and activists.

The proposed measure, unveiled late Friday afternoon, is aimed at curbing the black market while prodding larger growers to supply the legal recreational market the state is developing.

This approach is winning wide support on the House-Senate committee charged with implementing the marijuana legalization initiative approved by Oregon voters in November. It also has varying degrees of support from many marijuana industry figures who want to develop a successful legal market in the state.


Power needs of pot industry raise issues with Energy Dept.

As the state works out rules regulating recreational marijuana in Oregon, the electric power needs of indoor pot operations are raising issues for energy officials.


SALEM — As Oregon prepares for legal marijuana July 1, the state’s energy agency is looking for ways to curb electricity use by indoor pot growers.

Indoor marijuana gardens are well-known power hogs, but Oregon faces a dilemma as it researches how to extend its energy efficiency programs to the cannabis industry: federal money that typically helps pay for efficiency projects cannot be used for any activities that involve pot.


Hemp backers say bill gives momentum, especially for tribes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Some observers say a North Dakota bill passed this legislative session that sets guidelines for industrial hemp production should make it easier to grow and may help create an industry for Indian tribes, although it could take a while to sort out federal policies.

Hemp can be used to make clothing, lotion and many other products, but growing it has been illegal under federal law because it is type of cannabis plant and looks like marijuana. Unlike marijuana, people can't get high on hemp.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. David Monson is meant to put the state in line with the new federal farm bill that allows hemp to be grown through state agriculture departments and college research stations.


Oregon: What Legalization? Police Want $5 Million For Marijuana Enforcement

Legalization? What legalization? Advocates may rightly be asking this question after the Oregon State Police requested a $3.9 million budget increase to go after marijuana.

The OSP wants the money for 2015-20176 to pay for 11 full-time troopers and detectives to go after pot, reports Aaron Mesh at Willamette Week.

Since that's in addition to the $1.3 million the state police already requested for a legal marijuana enforcement budget earlier this year, one can't help asking oneself, where are the savings in marijuana enforcement that supposedly come with "legalization"?

The state police have declined comment.


Ferrioli will protect marijunana rights in Oregon

ONTARIO — Marijuana took up most of the discussion at this morning’s Legislative Hotline, with state Sen. Ted Ferrioli expressing frustration with the slow pace of rule-making.

Legislative Hotline is a monthly video conference with Ferrioli, District 30, and state Rep. Cliff Bentz, District 60, and local residents. It is hosted at the Ontario School District administrative office by the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce.

Addressing issues raised by Ontario Mayor Ron Verini, Ferrioli said one of likely results of Measure 91 and the implementation measures being established is that Oregon medical marijuana cards will no longer be available to out-of-state residents.


$10M requested for marijuana sales kickoff in Oregon

Economists predict $18 million in Oregon's first two years.

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — On Thursday, Oregon lawmakers asked for $10 million to get recreational marijuana sales underway in the state, following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington. But KOIN 6 News learned the tax money generated by pot sales is expected to be much slimmer in Oregon.

As the first state with a full year of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado is the poster child for legal pot. Just last year, the state generated $700 million in marijuana sales — about half recreational and have medicinal.


OLCC prepares to deal with cash-reliant marijuana industry

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the regulated marijuana industry, is already laying the groundwork for security improvements and an upgrade of its entry area in anticipation of the influx of cash from the marijuana industry.

Steven Marks, the agency's executive director, said Wednesday he expects to add a dedicated window where marijuana business owners can pay their cannabis sales taxes. Marijuana's prohibition under federal law has kept traditional banking generally off-limits to state-licensed growers and retailers.

"It's more of a public safety issue than people think about," said Marks. "There is a lot of cash floating around in this system and that cash is a source of problems."


Medical marijuana in Beaverton, Oregon: City's about to get its first dispensary

Medical marijuana dispensaries are starting to grow in the Beaverton area with the first to open in city limits soon.

Blooming Deal owner Tyler Walker thinks there's a market in the suburbs.

Cannabis Nation, doing business as, Blooming Deal is awaiting its Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensary inspection next week and expects to open once the ink dries on its state marijuana license and it gets a Beaverton marijuana license, Walker said.

If approved, it will be the first such dispensary in the Beaverton city limits, but there are others just outside city boundaries including Growing Releaf, a dispensary west of Oregon 217 near Southwest Canyon Road.


To the Bitter End: The 9 States Where Marijuana Will Be Legalized Last

We know the end is coming, but pot prohibition is going to have to be undone state by state. Here are the ones least likely to jump on the bandwagon.

Marijuana prohibition in the US is dying, but it isn't going to vanish in one fell swoop. Even if Congress were to repeal federal pot prohibition, state laws criminalizing the plant and its users would still be in effect—at least in some states.

And it's probably a pretty safe bet that Congress isn’t going to act until a good number of states, maybe more than half, have already legalized it. That process is already underway and is likely to gather real momentum by the time election day 2016 is over.


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