John Floyd

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Oregon that sell recreational cannabis must pay their first taxes by February 29th. Nearly 25 percent of these dispensaries, however, have yet to register to pay taxes on their recreational sales.

A report by The Register-Guard found that 75 of the 320 medical dispensaries currently selling recreational cannabis have not created accounts with the Oregon Department of Revenue, despite the department’s threats of late penalties.

As of last Thursday, just 38 of the registered dispensaries had paid their January taxes, and another 60 have set up payment appointments.

Department of ­Revenue spokeswoman Joy Krawczyk said that the department sent letters reminding dispensaries of their fiscal obligations last month. “Our biggest concern is just making sure we get the word out there,” she said. “We are looking at an uptick of registrations as the deadline approaches.”

Despite the overall boost in profits that recreational cannabis has brought Oregon’s medical dispensaries, some owners remain critical of the recreational tax.

Travis Shafer, who owns the Twenty After Four Wellness Center in ­Eugene, said that the recreational tax makes cannabis more expensive for people who may be eligible for a medical card but have not, perhaps for financial reasons, obtained one.

“I have a lot of people coming in who are living off the cheap… It’s restricting access,” he said.

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