Portland Will Pay $65,800 a Year to Hire a Legal Weed Regulator

What does $65,800 buy in the legal-weed market?

Right now, a little more than 7 pounds of pot in Washington state. Legal-marijuana prices haven't yet been set in Oregon, but the same money will pay the annual salary of Portland's first government weed regulator.

As first reported in Wednesday's Murmurs, Portland City Council on Nov. 12 approved a recreational-marijuana staff position, reporting to city liquor licensing specialist Theresa Marchetti. The manager will represent City Hall as the state sets rules about where and when pot shops can operate.

The city is preparing to fight the measure's backers in the Legislature to allow Portland to levy a 10-percent sales tax on weed. Meanwhile, the city will pay the new employee with existing funds.

"We know there will be a significant role for the city in both ensuring a smooth implementation and reasonable enforcement," says Josh Alpert, who has led Mayor Charlie Hales' marijuana policy. "We are hiring a staff person now to help the city get ready for both."