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First month of recreational weed sales in Oregon generates $3.5 million in tax revenues

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The first month of taxable commercial sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon generated nearly $3.5 million in tax revenues, far exceeding projections, the state Department of Revenue has reported.

Oregon’s marijuana tax receipts from January also surpassed the first-month tallies from recreational cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington state, the first two states to legalize general commercial distribution of pot for adults.

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Colorado collected $2.9 million in taxes when recreational sales launched there in January 2014, a sum that included revenue from both recreational and medical cannabis purchases.

Washington’s recreational industry, which started slow with just 18 stores licensed to sell pot, yielded $1 million in tax revenue when it debuted in August 2014.

By comparison, Oregon’s 300 licensed cannabis retailers sold $13.9 million worth of marijuana in January, generating $3.48 million in taxes, according to a revenue report issued on Thursday.

The stronger-than-expected sales may have stemmed in part from the state’s gradual approach to pot taxation, allowing more time for businesses to get established.

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Adults over 21 have been permitted to buy marijuana from dispensaries in the state since Oct. 1, 2015, and for the first three months those retail sales were untaxed. A 25 percent sales tax went into effect on Jan. 1, although it is waived for cannabis buyers with a medical card.

Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission, charged with regulating the drug, had forecast annual tax revenues of about $8 million during the first two years of legal recreational pot sales.

Although tax structures vary across the three states where pot sales are currently legal, all have earmarked funds for similar programs – schools, drug and alcohol counseling, and law enforcement.

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Cannabis use remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. federal law, putting the national government at odds with a growing number of states moving to legalize cannabis for medical purposes, recreational use or both.

In Alaska, where voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, regulators expect stores to open by the end of this year.

Voters in the District of Columbia have legalized recreational pot as well, but a congressional budget bill passed last year bars sales of the drug until 2017 or later.

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(Reporting by Courtney Sherwood; Editing by Steve Gorman and Tom Hogue)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump says he’ll ‘probably terminate’ the New York Times and Washington Post ‘from the White House’

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President Donald Trump's Monday night Fox News interview was a televised version of his Twitter rants. Typically The Washington Post is his favorite foe, due to ownership by actual billionaire Jeff Bezos, but in his interview with Sean Hannity, Trump also attacked The New York Times.

"The media is corrupt. Not all the media. I know some great people, including you, but I know some great journalists," Trump said. "Look, they give Pulitzer Prizes to people that got it wrong. In all these people from The New York Times which is the fake newspaper, we don't even want it in the White House anymore, and we're probably going to terminate that and The Washington Post from the White House they are fake."

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Marco Rubio says it was a ‘bad look’ for Trump to pick Doral for G7 — after several days of defending the decision

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On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) admitted that it was a "bad look" for President Donald Trump to call for hosting the next annual G7 summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida:

“Obviously you know, given everything that's going on, it was a bad look,” Rubio said of G7 at Doral, though he doubts Trump wanted to make money. “As a Floridian I thought it was great that they were going to come down, especially in June when we don't have as many visitors."

— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) October 22, 2019

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‘You lost’: Internet mocks Trump for cheering on ‘great vote’ — that Republicans lost

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee accidentally mistook a satirical article with a fake transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. While Schiff apologized for the error, Trump has called for his immediate impeachment.

Impeachment is outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the section of the founding document gives examples of what they meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors." It does not cite accidentally reading the wrong transcript aloud. Members of Congress cannot be impeached and censure is a toothless resolution that is meaningless.

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