Morning Roundup: Marijuana market thrives, expanding rural enterprise zones

In today’s headlines, the marijuana market is thriving, while more rural enterprise zones come online

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Marijuana market. Since legalization last year, at least 2,165 jobs have been added to the market — amounting to nearly $46 million in additional payroll. The economic impact will only increase, quickly surpassing the large alcohol sector. To compare: the beer, wine and liquor industry employed 1,450 people paying a mere $28 million in wages. These additional workers with disposable income will likely cause a ripple effect, stimulating the economy further. Read more from the Statesman Journal.


Food fight. The fight for Portland’s sandwich chain Lardo escalated yesterday when a stakeholder filed a $9 million lawsuit against fellow business partners for improperly diverted funds. This isn’t the first time Ramzy Hattar has filed suit against his business partners Kurt Huffman and Rick Gencarelli — he tried to compel the partners to sell their Lardo stakes in December for $1.6 million. Willamette Week has more.


Election Day. Stemming from one of the most passionate Presidential campaigning seasons, it’s not surprising the May primary could break a voting record. As of Tuesday morning — with ballots due by 8 p.m. — voters are on track to submit more than 1 million ballots. That has only happened once before, in the 2008 primary when passion ran just as high. The Oregonian reports the highest turnout so far is in Grant County.

Rural development.  Deschutes County has expanded its rural enterprise zone — this time to Sunriver. The enterprise zone would, in theory, bring in businesses who will create additional property tax revenue for the area. The plan is a long-term one, however, as the bait to lure business is temporary exemptions from that needed tax revenue. Read more from the Bend Bulletin.


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Mental math. Even though Uber surge pricing is the bane of many ride-sharers existence, riders continue to pay inflated fares by two, three and even nine times. Why? OPB sat down with Uber to discuss the psychology behind why users continue to pay for a service at prices that they hate. It comes down to math and perceived pricing. Apparently riders are reluctnat to shell out twice the cost, but 2.1 seems like it’s worth it — the key is in the uneven number. 

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Costly residency. For a mere $500,000, investors can purchase a stake in the new Orlando soccer stadium, and a green card. Yes, it’s legal to do so under a federal program developed in 1990. The Orlando company isn’t the first to do so. In OB’s February 2016 story, My Kingdom for a Visa, writer Courtney Sherwood tracked Oregon developments that have brought in more than $70 million in Chinese investment through the EB-5 visa program. Read about Orlando’s stake from The New York Times.