Despite Law, Oregon Cities Pass Pot Tax. What Now?

OREGON:  Cities scrambled to pass taxes on marijuana before a legalization measure went before voters. Their bet: That the taxes would get grandfathered in.

But Measure 91, passed by voters on Nov. 4, has a clause forbidding any taxation on marijuana except by the state. Now, those cities say they are prepared to defend their taxes in court.

Attorney Dave Kopilak helped draft the law and is studying the response. Ashland City Manager Dave Kanner was one of the first to propose such a tax, which passed in Ashland this year.

Fairview Mayor Mike Weatherby was one of the supporters of his city’s 40 percent marijuana tax, which he says is intended to keep recreational pot dispensaries out of the city. Cities may opt out of hosting dispensaries, but Weatherby said the city is trying to “cover all of (its) bases.”