May cannabis sales in Oregon reached $100 million for the first time since legalization in 2015 and it marks the third consecutive record-breaking month for the state’s industry, Willamette Week reports. According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, total sales were $103 million, which represents a 15 percent increase from April when sales topped $89 million. In March sales reached $83 million, which had been the highest single-month total recorded in the state.
The May totals are a 60 percent increase from the same month last year. The OLCC had already adjusted its industry-derived tax expectations by $9 million before the May totals. Oregon currently generates more than $100 million annually from cannabis taxes and fees.
According to a Marijuana Moment report, state budget officials have described the post-pandemic state budget as “the largest downward revision to the quarterly forecast that our office has ever had to make.” The $9 million bump from higher-than-anticipated cannabis taxes serves as a bright spot for the state’s fiscal outlook.
State budget analysts also suggested that cannabis sales would begin to trend downward by about 5 percent “due to the lower economic outlook” associated with the pandemic.
A week-to-week analysis by Willamette Week found a gradual rise in cannabis sales as the coronavirus spread through Oregon in March and the most significant sales increase occurring just before the governor declared dispensaries an essential business amid the state’s economic shutdown to combat the virus spread. Sales then regressed, suggesting the spike was related to uncertainty over the shutdown.