Oregon cannabis retailers sold $793 million in 2019, which generated more than $110 million for state and county coffers, according to Oregon Liquor Control Commission figures outlined by the Bend Bulletin. The totals are nearly $150 million more than 2018 and are expected to reach about $1 billion next year.
Sales were highest in Multnomah County, home to Portland, which saw $203.9 million in cannabis sales last year, followed by Washington ($75.3 million), Lane ($70 million), Marion ($50.6 million), and Deschutes ($39.6 million) counties.
An Oregon Office of Economic Analysis report found that Oregon cannabis sales along the Idaho state line – where cannabis remains criminalized – are 420 percent higher than the statewide average, the Associated Press reports. Idaho also borders Washington and Nevada, both legal cannabis states. Baker and Malheur counties, which border Idaho, sell $2,100 and $2,500 worth of cannabis per capita, respectively.
Josh Lehner, senior economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, noted that cannabis sales in Baker County “dropped” once sales began in Malheur County.
“There’s a lot of outside demand. These cross-border effects are very pronounced particularly with vice purchases like tobacco, alcohol and cannabis.” – Lehner, to the Bulletin
Brad Wehde, general manager at The Herb Center in Bend, indicated the company’s sales were up 25 percent over 2018 and that while prices have rebounded from 2018 lows, “there’s still a lot of instability” in Oregon’s market.
“The OLCC needs to stay out of the business and let the free market reign,” he said in the report. “Then prices should stabilize.”