Legal cannabis in Oregon has brought thousands of jobs to the state and has generated millions of dollars in revenue, exceeding government expectations. In fact, the Beaver State brings in $20 million every quarter in cannabis taxes, doubling the $40 million that state financial analysts thought would be the maximum generated in a year.
On top of the added economic benefits, cannabis arrests and citations have plummetted and people with old marijuana convictions are getting them expunged. However, there are still a few glaring omissions in the state’s cannabis laws, one being a lack of cannabis cafes or other consumption spaces to legally consume cannabis. A group of advocates (I’m proud to be one of them) have joined the New Revenue Coalition to lobby the legislature to legalize cannabis consumption spaces, and place a measure on the 2020 ballot, if necessary, as Fox 12 KPTV reported:
“We’ve been fighting for the same rights that brewers and wineries have had for a long time,” Sam Chapman, co-founder of the New Revenue Coalition, said.
Chapman said there are several models for how this could work, including legalizing consumption at farm tours, creating new stand-alone cafes, or even separate spaces at licensed retailers.
He said it would open up tourism dollars, expand business opportunities and give consumers more equity-particularly when it comes to people who rent.
“Cannabis consumers deserve a place to use their cannabis safely and legally. This is a social justice issue that disproportionately affects the poor, patients and communities of color,” Madeline Martinez, national NORML board member and executive director of Oregon NORML, stated in a New Revenue Coalition press release. In 2009, Martinez founded the first social consumption lounge in the United States, Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Cafe.
If successful, legal cannabis cafes and other related businesses will create a new revenue stream for entrepreneurs and the state and will further cement Oregon as one of the most cannabis-friendly tourist destination locations in the world. New Revenue Coalition is kicking off the campaign to legalize cannabis consumption spaces on August 29th at Tillamook Station with Senator Lew Frederick, who plans on sponsoring the bill this legislative session. There is a suggested donation of $20. For more information, and to help bring more freedom, jobs, and revenue, to Oregon check out www.newrevenuecoalition.com.
Learn about all of the opportunities in the cannabis industry in Oregon and around the world at the International Cannabis Business Conference this September 27th-28th. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with top global investors and entrepreneurs so get your tickets by September 12th to secure your spot and take advantage of “early bird” pricing that saves you $200.