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Supply and demand make pot taxes unpredictable

PENDLETON, Oregon – Pendleton is getting money from local marijuana taxes, but City Manager Robb Corbett says the industry is too new to predict how much will find its way to the city’s coffers. For example, a glut of marijuana is being produced – more than the recreational marijuana industry can bear.

“That suggests to me that there’s the potential for a stronger black market, and also we’re seeing that the price of (legal) marijuana is going down,” Corbett said.

The city received about $300,000 in marijuana taxes in the first year of legalized recreational pot, but Corbett doesn’t think Pendleton can simply bank on that amount every year as officials plan the next budget.

“Marijuana is a unique animal,” he said. “It remains to be seen, you know, just how this will play out.”

The city tax rate on recreational marijuana sales is three percent. That is collected by the state of Oregon and then distributed to municipalities when the marijuana businesses pay the state’s 17 percent tax.

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