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.