Oregonian cannabis cultivators have done a little too good a job. Since sales went legal back in 2015, the state’s growers have shown a lot of heart, ambition, and work ethic. But maybe they should have had a lot less of those things, because they have grown way, way, way too much weed.
The Associated Press reports that Oregon now has enough legal cannabis to supply its users for the next 6.5 years. The surplus has caused prices to drop like a stone, with eighth ounces going for as little as $6.
That’s why the Oregon Senate on Monday voted 18-10 in favor of freezing new cannabis licenses until all that weed gets smoked. Though they are not accepting new applications, existing cannabis business licenses can still be renewed.
The surplus of cannabis which Oregon is experiencing now could be a sign of things to come in other cannabis-legal states. Some economists predicted that the end of cannabis prohibition would bring a substantial lowering of their price. This is in part because legal weed does not come with a “risk premium,” a kind of unofficial tax which consumers generally accept that they have to pay on illegal products.
Though the bill was passed by the Oregon Senate, a similar bill failed last month. According to the AP, that’s because, “Republicans said at the time that the marijuana industry should be regulated by the free market, not the state… Some Republicans reversed their vote this time around saying the amended proposal is narrower in scope.”
The bill will now progress to the state House.
Photo via Flickr user Ken Lund