OLCC and Ballot Measure 91: New revenue projections
According to the Portland Business Journal, the OLCC has put in their budget for Ballot Measure 91 for 2015- 2016. OLCC is asking for approximately $10 million over the next two years to implement and run the program. While the Twitterverse is aghast at that number – many wondering if the majority of that request will be dedicated to enhanced law enforcement and the requested police powers, there is a more interesting number for people in the industry, or looking to get into the cannabis industry, to look at. The revenue projection.
The OLCC has released an improved revenue projection. This number is significantly lower than the number projected by ECONorthwest during the campaign.
ECONorthwest projected that the tax revenue number would be $78.7 million while the OLCC is putting the 2016-2017 revenue projections at just over $18 million. Granted, OLCC does explain that retail stores are not likely to open until late 2016 but, even if we double the projected number, we are still at half of the amount projected during campaign season.
If we parse that information apart, along with the statements made by OLCC, we can see that they are reaching a fundamental understanding about the level of cultivation in this state, the access to cannabis both now and when people start growing their four plants at home and sharing what they grow and the general appetite for consumption beyond those who are already involved in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
While these numbers are merely projections this is an interesting conversation to follow as the tax revenue is clearly motivating factor for local governments to participate in this program, citizens to continue to support legalization and may very well impact what happens to the medical program in coming legislative sessions.
As a side note, it is interesting to compare this projection with the actual revenue generated by beer, wine and liquor in 2013-2014. You can find those numbers here: OLCC 2013-2014.