Months to go before pot tax revenue distribution

The Common School Fund will receive 40% of the revenue

A caregiver picks out a marijuana bud for a patient at a marijuana dispensary in Denver on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
A caregiver picks out a marijuana bud for a patient at a marijuana dispensary in Denver on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nearly $75 million in taxes have been collected so far from recreational marijuana sales in Oregon, and many are wondering when that money will be distributed to schools, law enforcement agencies and other areas, as promised.

Mark Pettinger with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission told KOIN 6 News it should take at least a few more months.

“I think everything with regard to the program has exceeded expectations,” Pettinger said. “The way the legislation was written was, the OLCC and the Department of Revenue are to be reimbursed prior to the distribution of taxes.”

Associate Chris Hewitt holds up 7 gram bags of marijuana buds being prepared for sale at Nature Scripts medical marijuana dispensary in Murphy, Ore., Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

Those departments will receive around $12 million in reimbursements for the money spent on starting the recreational marijuana program.

“We are required to reconcile our budget, so essentially balance the books,” he said. “It ends June 30 of this year. We are required to have that balanced out by September.”

After that, he explained, the rest of the funds will be distributed across the state. The Common School Fund will receive 40% of the revenue, which is more than $30 million. It will be left up to local school districts to decide how to use that money.

Mental health and drug services will get an extra $15 million, Oregon State Police will receive $11 million, and $7 million for city and county law enforcement.

That money could be distributed between July and September.