New rules requested by Gov. Tina Kotek will take effect later this summer reports the Oregon Capital Chronicle
Cannabis companies will need to prove they’ve paid their state taxes to receive licenses under new rules announced Tuesday.
The new policy requested by Gov. Tina Kotek will require marijuana dispensaries to provide certificates from the Department of Revenue indicating that they’ve filed and paid all state taxes or have a payment plan for existing tax debt each time they try to renew their licenses with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
“This will help ensure that all businesses are operating under the same rules and not getting any competitive advantage if they haven’t paid their taxes,” Kotek said in a statement.
The new policy comes nearly two months after an explosive Willamette Week investigation found that state and federal tax regulators had issued tax liens totaling about $3 million against La Mota, the state’s second-largest cannabis chain and a major donor to Democratic politicians including Kotek.
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan resigned last week following revelations that she took a side job consulting for La Mota while her office audited the Liquor and Cannabis Commission, and Kotek and others have since donated their campaign contributions to charities.
About 9% of cannabis retailers haven’t fully paid their taxes, according to the Department of Revenue. Dispensaries are required to collect state sales taxes of 17% on all recreational marijuana, as well as 3% local taxes in many cities.
Craig Prins, executive director of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, said in a press conference that most marijuana retailers collect taxes.
“This is a 90%, 10% issue,” Prins said. “Most of the folks in this industry are paying their taxes. We don’t want to lose sight of that.”