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.
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.
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.
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.