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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Sales Tax

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
File photo. Recreational marijuana users in Oregon will be able to buy pot from medical dispensaries, but the state will add a 25 percent tax.

Recreational pot users in Oregon will have to pay a premium to buy marijuana from medical dispensaries.

New pot shops won't open until later next year, but dispensaries can sell to recreational users as early as October 1. But for much of the time between, customers have to pay a 25 percent tax to buy from those dispensaries.

Governor Kate Brown recently signed off on a temporary tax which begins early next year. Early shoppers will be able to buy their pot tax-free at dispensaries -- at least until January. But once shops have to start charging the tax, some worry whether they'll be able to compete with the blackmarket.

Alex Fallenstedt works for Alberta Green House, a medical dispensary in Portland.

“It’s tested, it is in a clean environment and is in a safe environment, where they can talk with the person about cannabis, how it was grown, where it was grown,” he explained.

Fallenstedt said he thinks customers will be willing to pay more to know what they're getting. “You don't know what you're buying or where it's from when you get it from a dealer,” he added.

Officials say they'll phase-out the tax by the end of 2016.