Many people are still weary to accept the fact that cannabis could boost the economy of states that decide to legalize. Oregon, as Gangapreneur illustrates, is one example of how legalization can help a state fund necessary programs with the millions earned from recreational cannabis sales.

Oregon Earns $3.48 Million in January Cannabis Sales Tax

By Graham Abbott

Oregon has earned $3.48 million in recreational cannabis sales tax from the month of January, Noelle Crombie reports for The Oregonian.

This number far exceeded expectations. In fact, the state made more money during January than state economists had projected for the entire year.

In total, Oregon dispensaries sold over $14 million worth of recreational pot during the month of January.

“It’s something that probably says there is a high level of compliance and that consumers are choosing to go to the legal establishment and more and more of them are leaving what we term as a gray or black market,” said Mazen Malik, a senior economist for Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office.

Because the official market has yet to launch, there remain many unknowns for the Oregon recreational cannabis market — including how much the upcoming regulations will cost the state. Tax income may fluctuate, Malik warned.

As of March 4, the Oregon Department of Revenue had received taxes from 253 of the state’s 309 dispensaries that have registered as temporary recreational retailers. Some of these dispensaries during that time may have only been selling medical cannabis, however, which is not taxed in Oregon.

The first 40 percent of Oregon’s recreational cannabis taxes (after the costs of taxation, collection, and regulation have been covered) will go into the Common School Fund. 20 percent will go to mental health, alcoholism and drug services. The Oregon State Police will receive 15 percent, while city and county law enforcement agencies will each receive 10 percent. The final 5 percent will go into the Oregon Health Authority’s efforts to combat drug and alcohol abuse.