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Lincoln City City Council: Won’t tax medical marijuana – likely to tax recreational marijuana if approved by voters

Marijuana - on the ballot next week.

Marijuana – on the ballot next week.

Lincoln City City Councilors decided Monday night that the city will not tax medical marijuana. Several citizens in the audience urged that they not tax it, saying under state law it is a medicine, and that many people who need it for pain or other ailments are often low income who don’t have the money for standard pain medications. They added that no other medicines are taxed and there is no reason to single out medical marijuana. The vote to not tax it was unanimous.

The council then turned to recreational marijuana and, except for one councilor, voted to tax it at a rate of possibly 10%. It takes a unanimous vote to officially pass an ordinance in one sitting, so when Councilor Gordie Eggleton voted no, it postponed final adoption until a special council meeting next Monday afternoon at 4pm. The council, like many others around Oregon, were told by the Oregon League of Cities that if they wanted to tax recreational marijuana, they must adopt a taxing ordinance before the voter initiative takes effect which is within 30 days of the vote. That would put it sometime in the first week of December. If the council passes their tax ordinance on Monday, they’d come in just under the wire.

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The council also passed an ordinance that if recreational marijuana is approved by the voters next week, and Lincoln City still wants to tax it, those collecting the tax will have to pay those taxes quarterly. There was a suggestion led by Mayor Dick Anderson to have marijuana sellers pay the tax monthly but the council decided otherwise. So quarterly it will be – again if the voters approve recreational marijuana next Tuesday.

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