Rentals in Portland are comparable to cities like New York and Berkeley, which means expensive, but thankfully, Oregon has the cheapest weed in the country.
As reporter Nigel Jaquiss reported in Willamette Week, in these troubled times, it’s making Oregon great again.
Forbes did the nation a favor by ranking pot prices in all 50 states and found that Oregon’s weed is nearly less than half the price of East Coast bud.
Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates recreational marijuana in the state, says Oregon’s prices are low by design.
“The whole idea is to make the legal product competitive with the black market,” Pettinger said.
Last year, the Perfect Price Blog surveyed six states in the country with the most dispensaries: Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Oregon’s price per ounce was the cheapest.
Today, according to Price of Weed, an ounce of high quality weed in Portland is $117.
Advantages to keeping weed prices low include boosting sales and tax revenue and discouraging illegal activity, thus keeping law enforcement and social costs at a minimum.
But the real advantage, according to an economist at BDS Analytics quoted in the Willamette, is Oregon’s approach to taxes.
Suffice it to say that Oregon’s marijuana tax program is simpler than Colorado’s and lower than Washington’s.
“It’s mainly the tax difference that makes us cheap,” said industry veteran Beau Whitney.
Whitney cautioned however that newly legalized states will likely roll out their pot sales with low state taxes.
If Oregon wants to continue attracting weed tourists and investors to keep the industry growing, Whitney believes, lawmakers should consider following Maine and Massachusetts where marijuana tax rates are expected to be 10 percent – even lower than Oregon’s 17 percent.
Meanwhile, the economy in Oregon is doing fine.
Oregon’s gross domestic product in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area grew faster than in any other region anywhere in the nation since 2008. Oregon’s GDP expanded by 4.1 percent last year, according to 24/7 WallSt, making it the highest in the country, tied with California.
The unemployment rate hit record lows last year, and continued to fall, to just four percent as of this month and, according to U.S. Census numbers released in December, the poverty rate for the Portland metro region fell by two percentage points between 2014 and 2015.