Marijuana magnates convene in Eugene

More than 700 attend Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference to discuss “the fastest-growing business in America.”

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More than 700 attended the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene to discuss “the fastest-growing business in America.”

Starting July 1, marijuana will be legal in Oregon, and at the conference over the weekend, entrepreneurs looked to sell to growers and dispensaries, the Register-Guard reports.

Many of the businesses represented at the conference, which concludes today, don’t sell marijuana at all, but instead were advertising their services and products to dispensaries and growers. Testing labs, real estate companies, confectionery makers, consultants, and machinery, heating, air conditioning and vaporizer manufacturers all were in attendance, to name a few. Even the Eugene Water & Electric Board had a booth to let the “cannabis community” know that the utility is “here to help,” just like they do for “any other business community,” said Steve Mangan, an EWEB accounts manager. Travis Ashley, 30, from Medford, is an extraction technician with High Grade Harvest, a cannabis collective dispensary based in Southern Oregon. He worked the High Grade booth, explaining its services and trading business cards.

“I’ve met a lot of people here who don’t know too much, but they are really interested,” Ashley said. He discovered High Grade while doing locksmithing and security systems for the business. He soon got a job at the firm’s dispensary in Talent and later moved up to technician. “There are so many fields opening up, from security to labs,” he said. “There are a lot of people here who are looking for a niche.”

Former New Mexico governor — and presidential hopeful — Gary Johnson attended the conference and gave a speech advocating for legalization across the country.

He gave an interview to in which he argued that Washington state was overtaxing consumers, wiping out several potential benefits.

Pay attention to how you are taxing it. Adopting rules and regulations and taxation that allows the entire industry to move above the line. I always point out that the tax revenue from marijuana gets dwarfed by the savings in law enforcement, the courts and prisons. You are moving the entire industry from a black market. You have all those incomes that are going to be reported to the IRS. Completely forget about tax revenue from the products.

All the other ancillary affects are more positive than the tax revenue. If there were no tax revenue at all we would be way, way ahead because of all of those other things.

READ ON: Marijuana is posed to be big business in Oregon, as examined in the March issue of Oregon Business.

In Portland, city officials are mulling a $1,500 permit business owners must obtain to run a legal pot shop, Willamette Week reports.

A city budget document shows officials in theOffice of Neighborhood Involvement still aren’t sure if such a permit is allowed underMeasure 91, which legalizes recreational weed. But they are planning to make the price steep.

“ONI is continuing to work with the City Attorney and the Office of Government Relations on what the city may be able to do locally due to the preemption language,” the City Budget Office report says. “The bureau has noted that if it is able to do a non-regulatory permit, then the fees would have to be relatively high to offset program costs—possibly $1,500 or more per permit.”


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