Tag: Willamette Week

$100 Million! Oregon Breaks Monthly Cannabis Sales Record Again

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.

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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.

Smell the 168 Amazing Cannabis Strains at Kind Leaf in Beautiful Pendleton, Oregon

It is common knowledge that Oregon is a cannabis consumers paradise with some of the best strains and products with the lowest prices in the world. As a proud Oregonian, I’ll stand up for Oregon cannabis any day of the week and twice on Saturday at 4:20. I’ve been to many dispensaries in several states and a few coffeeshops around the world, and can honestly state that the best cannabis and selection that I’ve seen is at Kind Leaf in Pendleton, Oregon. It is tough to top the nearly 170 strains (168 today!) that they place on the shelves from the best cannabis farmers across the Beaver State.

While Washington State and California can claim great cannabis as well, you aren’t allowed to smell any of the cannabis available for purchase at their retails stores. The Willamette Week reported on how Oregon is the only state on the West Coast that allows consumers to fully smell the cannabis available at our retail outlets:

Head north or south of Oregon’s borders, and the consumer experience is far more limited. In California and Washington, state law dictates that cannabis flower must be sold in pre-packaged increments—meaning whatever you buy has already been measured and sealed, sometimes weeks beforehand.

Some California and Washington dispensaries have locked jars containing a bud or two for review, but those quickly dry out and lose their scent.

The ability to smell before you buy isn’t just a regulatory quirk: In cannabis, fragrance—or lack thereof—can indicate freshness, flavor and, if you know your terpenes, effects.

My good friend, Ngaio Bealum, an amazing activist and cannabis comedian, wrote about the plight of California connoisseurs in Leafly:

How can I find a bargain if I can’t smell the weed? How do I know if that top-shelf, $70-a-freaking-eighth bud is worth me working 10 hours at federal minimum wage, if I don’t know what it smells like?

A farmers market will let you taste a cherry or two before you buy it. The fancy Cigar Shop will let you twirl umpteen different Maduro blends under your nose until you find the one you want. But I can’t stick my nose in a bag of weed? It’s almost Unamerican.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I’m old enough to remember when “bag appeal” was a prime selling point. Some traditions are too important to let go of.

Please, regulators. Please. Look into your hearts, and bring back the deli-style cannabis club.

Cannabis regulations in Oregon still need some work, of course. For instance, we don’t have legal, regulated cannabis cafes and a lot needs to be done to help out small craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf and other mom-and-pops, but we have one bragging right on our West Coast cannabis community members–we get to smell what our talented farmers are growing.

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