Oregon cannabis retailers set a new monthly sales record of $89 million during the month of April, KGW reports. It is the second record-breaking sales month in a row after March sales reached $84.5 million, according to Willamette Week.
Oregon Liquor Control Commission data shows that April saw a 45% increase in sales from last year. While April is generally a high-performing month due to widespread 4/20 celebrations, the sales spike cleanly coincides with the emergence of social distancing efforts and official stay-at-home orders in light of COVID-19.
Gov. Kate Brown issued the state’s stay-at-home order on March 23. Since then, the industry has adapted to the pandemic scenario by implementing online sales with curbside pickup and a heavier emphasis on delivery services.
Cannabis advocates have highlighted the industry’s success and essential status in most legal markets as yet another reason for widespread legalization. Oregon currently generates over $100 million in annual tax revenue from the cannabis industry.
“There’s a reason why over 25 states have declared marijuana dispensaries to be essential services. These are things people rely on.” Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), via KGW
Earlier this month, federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives added language giving the cannabis industry access to traditional banking services to their proposed coronavirus economic stimulus package. The banking language and other aspects of the proposal, however, were lambasted by the president and Republican lawmakers, who hold the majority in the Senate, as a “partisan wishlist.”