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Struggling Oregon Town May Turn to Cannabis for Revenue

It cannot be disputed that the Oregon adult-use cannabis system creates jobs and generates revenue. While the Measure 91 legalization was primarily focused on ending unnecessary arrests and better prioritizing limited law enforcement resources, economic benefits were touted and the financial gains have actually been bigger than projected. Unfortunately, many localities have banned licensed cannabis businesses depriving themselves of much-needed funds. After seeing Easter Oregon town Huntington revitalized by cannabis revenue, the city of Ontario may have a chance to see more jobs and more money in the city’s coffers by overturning its local ban* this November as Boise State Public Radio reported:

The city of Ontario continues to struggle with its finances. Numerous consolidations have happened, and, at the start of July, several staff members were let go for budgetary reasons.

Pro-cannabis group MalheurCAN has a solution for the financial woes of the city. The group is pushing an initiative that would overturn Ontario’s ban on recreational weed and licensing dispensaries. It would include a new 3 percent sales tax on pot.

“The marijuana is estimated to bring in between $450,000 and maybe $750,000,” says Ron Verini, the mayor in Ontario.

Many towns and cities like Ontario are hurting and could use several hundred thousands of dollars to improve the lives of their residents. Every sheriff and deputy of Wheeler County recently resigned due to a lack of resources. Hopefully, Ontario voters will vote to bring more jobs and revenue (and freedom) to their town this November and other localities with bans will follow.

Learn the latest about the Oregon cannabis market, including what cities and counties could soon overturn their cannabis business bans, and get updates from other U.S. markets and those around the world at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference this September 27th-28th in Portland, Oregon. Get your tickets by September 12th to secure the “early bird” prices. 

*Full disclosure: I assisted the drafting process of the initiative seeking to overturn the ban.

Boise State Public Radio, Huntington, MalheurCAN, Ontario, Ron Verini