Taxes are due on time for all applicants to Oregon retail cannabis licenses.
Tina Kotek, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission's chairperson, ordered that proof of compliance with state taxes be required for retail licenses.
Kotek stated in a news release that he was grateful for the collaboration between the OLCC leadership and the Department of Revenue to solve the long-standing issue of equal tax compliance for the cannabis and alcohol sectors. This will ensure that all businesses operate under the same rules, and don't gain any competitive advantage by not paying their taxes.
The OLCC has already been given the authority to update the application and renewal processes.
A Willamette Weekly investigation into the cannabis company La Mota has put the OLCC at the centre of a major scandal. Former Oregon Secretary of state Shemia Fagan lost her job as a result of the scandal when it was revealed she earned $10,000 per month working as a consultant with La Mota.
In the early part of this year, an investigation was conducted into the practices of its leaders in reserving expensive bottles of Bourbon for them or their associates. This led to Steve Marks, the former OLCC executive director's resignation in February.
According to a news release, cannabis retailers are more likely to be in noncompliance with tax laws, at 9%. This is higher than the other tax programs managed by the Department of Revenue.
Craig Prins, interim executive director of the OLCC, said that Oregon's cannabis industry was important to the economy and revenue generated by the state. "That's why we're so determined to bring this group of licensees up to compliance and make sure they pay their fair share," said Craig Prins, interim executive director at the OLCC.