Nearly two years after Oregon voters legalized recreational cannabis with the passage of Measure 91, a strong majority say that it has thus far had a positive impact on the state, new data released by DHM Research shows.
According to the survey, 61% of voters in Oregon believe legalizing cannabis has been a positive development in the state, with roughly 30% stating that they feel it's had a negative impact. The 61% is a 5% increase over the percentage of voters who voted "Yes" on Measure 91 in 2014 (56%).
The poll also found that 60% of voters oppose city and county-wide bans on recreational cannabis sales, though they do support city-wide sales taxes (69%),
The strong support for local taxes will come into play heavily this November, as there are over 100 cities voting this November on the potential implementation of a 3% sales tax on recreational cannabis sales, as noted by the Oregonian. The 3% sales tax is the highest tax a city can establish, based on the state's current cannabis laws. Despite being a relatively low number, it's still estimated to garner cities a good chunk of revenue; for example, the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that such a tax will result in an addition $3-$5 million in taxes for Portland alone.
"Though some may not view legalization positively in the abstract, an overwhelming majority believe their communities should seek benefits in the form of increased tax revenues," says John Horvick, Political Director for DHM Research.
According to Horvick, the poll found support for cannabis taxes to be "nearly universal" across all political parties and age groups.
Currently in Oregon recreational cannabis is sold through medical cannabis dispensaries; they can distribute up to a quarter ounce to non-patients 21 and older, although they can legally possess up to an ounce. Starting next year recreational cannabis retail outlets, licensed by the Liquor Control Commission, will begin opening their doors and dispensaries will go back to selling exclusively to patients; these outlets will be authorized to sell a full ounce to anyone at least 21 years old.
According to data released last month by the Oregon Department of Revenue, the state garnered $25 million in taxes in the first six months of legal sales.