Oregon’s cannabis revenue has continually far exceeded expectations. The state only projected to bring in between $17 to $40 million per year in tax proceeds, but the industry has now more than doubled the upper projection, bringing in more than $82 million this past fiscal year. The market has shown no signs of slowing down as the top 2 biggest months, and 5 out of the top 6th months, have all occurred in 2018 since the Beaver State started collecting cannabis taxes in February of 2016. We’ll see how August sales end up, but as the Willamette Week has reported, Oregon brought in more cannabis tax revenue in July than any other month:
That’s the percentage increase from July 2017 to July 2018 in state taxes from marijuana sales, according to new figures from the Oregon Department of Revenue. The state took in $8.57 million in weed taxes this July, an all-time high. Taxes collected by local governments increased even more, jumping 73% to $1.34 million last month.
The increase in sales has increased suspicions among some, as WW also noted:
Oregon has a generous supply of weed, thanks to bumper harvests that have driven down prices to record lows (“Too Much Weed,” WW, April 18, 2018). That oversupply has glutted Oregon’s market and led, law enforcement officials say, to “leakage” into the black market.
Last week, state regulators overseeing Oregon’s recreational cannabis abruptly curbed the ability of medical marijuana cardholders to buy weed in bulk, citing suspiciously large purchases that might have been leaking into the black market.
The “oversupply” of cannabis in Oregon has created a consumer’s paradise, but definitely poses challenges for businesses. However, the record revenue numbers show that profits are there for the taking. Hopefully, the state doesn’t restrict sales too much with overproduction and stands up more firmly against federal saber rattling.
Oregon has seen bigger companies buy up smaller companies, but the International Cannabis Business Conference is hoping to help some local craft businesses thrive by hosting a Mom and Pop Pitch Event at the upcoming September ICBC in Portland. One small business will walk away with a $10,000 award, and several companies will have the opportunity to pitch their business in front of a room of investors. Please spread the word to your favorite local businesses. State regulators will also be on hand for a panel to answer folks’ burning questions.
If you are in the cannabis industry, or are thinking of joining, the ICBC in Portland this September 27th-28th is the event for you. Get your early bird tickets by September 12th to save yourself $200!