Revenue from marijuana sales exceeds projections - but where's that money going?
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Tax revenue from marijuana sales last year exceeded projections - the state collected $54,506,832 in taxes through a 25 percent tax rate from February 2016 through November 2016.
The state initially thought it would take 10 years before legal pot sales outweighed the black market, but state economists say that may already be happening.
And though pot is clearly a big business, its a small part of the state budget -- less than .5 percent.
Marijuana sales are projected to bring in about $37 million for Oregon schools next year, but that money won't go directly to a school. It'll be put in the state's common school fund, which acts as an endowment program.
How much school districts like Portland Public Schools will see as a direct result of the revenue is still unknown. Some legislators are considering giving all the pot tax money allocated for schools directly to the districts.
About 10 percent of every dollar spent at pot shops right now will go to local law enforcement, to cities like Portland. Right now, it's being given out based on how many licensed pot businesses are in the area. Legislators are also considering a change there -- critics argue Portland will get a lion's share of that money because of the amount of pot shops in city limits.
Portland Police Bureau isn't sure exactly how much money it will receive from the marijuana tax, but City Budget Office recommended using the marijuana tax revenue for the PPB Service Coordination Team program and DUII training and enforcement activities in its traffic division. Some of the money from marijuana will come from the city's three percent local tax, which is tacked on to the state's 17 percent portion.