Election 2016: Cannabis Company Founder Talks Taxes, Political Races

The political season is upon us, with local races and ballot measure campaigns in high gear.

With that in mind, I asked some in the SBO crowd what political dramas they were watching closest.

Hifi Farms cannabis company president and CEO Sara Batterby (whose company has been raising funds and gaining financial partners that say the company could reach $100 million in value) is among a new breed of marijuana businesspeople, holding fundraisers for politicians that advocate for the industry.

If the company's new partner and brand-builder Meriwether Group is right in its estimation of the company's value, Hifi will, sooner or later, be one of the companies that could face increased taxes on its sales. Those taxes could come from Measure 97 which, if it passes, would raise taxes on corporations with more than $25 million in Oregon sales.

Here’s what Batterby had to say about the politics of the moment.

Tax the rich

“Hifi has officially endorsed Vote Yes on Measure 97," Batterby wrote in an email. "The cannabis industry is going to establish quite a track record for funding Oregon schools because of the application of cannabis taxes. Measure 97 is an opportunity for our industry to flex some newly found political muscle. Cannabis is a large community of highly engaged and strongly social justice-oriented business owners, and we believe that with some awareness building, we can turn out a strong vote in favor of the measure."

Political races

“Hifi is committed to supporting representatives who have supported us," she added. "Most notably, we have wanted to ensure that Ann Lininger of District 38retains her state Senate seat in November. She was co-chair of the (Joint Committee on Implementing Measure 91 to legalize recreational marijuana) and has been a strong advocate of the cannabis industry. We hosted a fundraiser for her early in the year … and will host another event at our Hillsboro Farm in September.”

(Courtesy of Portland Business Journal)

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