Economic analysts wondered what the coronavirus pandemic would do to Oregon cannabis sales after shoppers set a monthly record by stocking up just before non-essential businesses were ordered closed. Not sure if adult use cannabis commerce would be deemed essential, it made sense that folks would stock up. Fortunately for the industry and our local economy, Governor Kate Brown made the wise decision of declaring cannabis essential and stores remained open. Well, sales have continued to climb, making cannabis one of the few economic bright spots, and sales cracked $100 million for the first time in May, as the Willamette Week reported:
According to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, total sales for the month were $103 million—a 15 percent jump from April, and a 60 percent increase from this time last year.
It’s the third consecutive record-breaking month for weed sales in the state. In March, sales hit $83 million—the highest single-month total to that point. A week-to-week analysis, however, showed a gradual rise as coronavirus spread across Oregon, the most significant spike coming just before the governor declared cannabis dispensaries an essential business, allowing them to stay open. Sales then regressed, suggesting the increase was related to uncertainty over the statewide economic shutdown.
But sales have continued to climb upward. In April, sales hit $89 million. According to the OLCC, cannabis tax revenues for 2020, even before May, were expected to be $9 million more than earlier projections by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.
There could be many reasons why cannabis sales have continued to climb. It’s possible that people are turning to cannabis as they deal with depression, anxiety, or just plain boredom. Maybe people just about finished binging everyone on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon and needed to laugh a little bit more. Let’s face it, Tiger King is much better after utilizing some Trainwreck or Durban Poison.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that cannabis use has moved more and more mainstream and there will likely be a huge dropoff in usage anytime soon. Whether you are an old school member or a newbie just joining the cannabis community, please shop at local small businesses like Kind Leaf. Do your research and support those that keep their money locally and don’t ship it off to shareholders in another state, or a different culture. You can feel good while feeling good with your cannabis shopping choices. Please use responsibly and always #BeKind.