More than half of the 50 states have now enacted some type of cannabis legalization statute. This caused a new economic revenue for these states and introduced new business opportunities. The new industry also produced a different type of entrepreneur who is more open to getting involved in cannabis production, processing, retail, and other related businesses.
As one of the early adopters of the cannabis legalization trend, Oregon enacted a law authorizing medical marijuana use in 1998. More than a decade later, the state took another step by legalizing adult recreational use in 2014. Other laws were later introduced to expand the cannabis-related products that may be offered by local dispensaries. Aside from these basic facts, there are other things to know when doing any type of cannabis-related business in Oregon.
Revenues Distributed to Services
Just like in any state that has legalized recreational, medicinal cannabis or both, Oregon has seen the revenue generating potential of the industry. Businesses retailing recreational cannabis were initially enforced a 25 percent at the start of the program last year. A report issued this year by the state government showed that Oregon earned around $54.5 million in sales tax within a 9-month period in 2016. Revenues from sales are used for the common school fund and for mental health and substance abuse programs.
Keeping Tabs of Licensed Businesses
Cannabis retailers and ancillary services operating within the state should ensure compliance with Oregon marijuana laws. Regular reporting is done at both city and county levels. The state has a system in place for monitoring recreational cannabis products in the local market. The Metrc Tracking System is under the oversight of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. This is part of the state’s regulatory compliance system and involves cannabis monitoring from source until completion of sale.
Tool for Automatic Reporting
There are tools in the market today that can be used to assist business owners in managing their daily operations while maintaining their system within state regulations. These systems are in sync with the OLCC’s requirements and address essentials, such as basic standards for product packaging. An effective tool also has a function which cuts the amount of time needed to prepare tax reports by directly submitting the sales data to the OLCC.
More importantly, while these tools are designed to ensure compliance with Oregon laws, it also guarantees customer confidentiality under SB 863. This statewide law restricts businesses from revealing customer names and other information unless authorized. For customers who are willing to have their names and purchase history in the business database, the system also provides a safe way to store the information.
As an Oregon business owner or new canna entrepreneur, knowing the laws and policies covering cannabis retail and trade is a must skill to have. While the industry is recognized as a high-revenue producer, it is still highly-regulated due to current federal statutes. For Oregon-based and other local entrepreneurs, compliance programs and apps keep businesses in check and within the legal statewide limits.