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Oregon's billion-dollar weed economy faces new challenges

They've never been higher.

Oregon recreational marijuana sales have climbed to record highs, but some say the industry's woes also have reached an apex. The difficulties range from an unfavorable federal tax code to a dangerous crime wave, wildfires, and cities and counties hungry for a larger slice of the tax pie.

"Businesses are still struggling," says Kim Lundin, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association. "High sales don't transfer to overall industry success."

But the marijuana milestone — $1.1 billion in sales in 2020, blowing past the $795 million benchmark set in 2019 — has started a battle for cash at the state Capitol regardless.


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