A customer holds a sample jar at Amazon Organics in Eugene, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. Oregon is the third state to have recreational marijuana sales. (Ryan Kang, The Associated Press)

Oregon pot tax collections – tens of millions of dollars – are sitting in limbo

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tax money collected from Oregon’s legal marijuana sales has been a rare bright spot as lawmakers fight over how to fill a $1.6 billion budget deficit.

KGW-TV reports that the state has brought in almost $75 million in tax revenue since 2016. It’s not enough to close the budget gap, but it’s a start.

But none of that tax revenue has been distributed to its intended recipients, like schools and police agencies.

That’s because of a quirk in the state law that governs legal marijuana.

It says before anyone else gets paid, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission must be reimbursed for administrative costs associated with setting up the marijuana program.

That hasn’t happened. Until it does, the tens of millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue will just sit in a state account.

Information from: KGW-TV