Oregon has broken records for most weed sold in the opening week of business, according to The Associated Press. Colorado, our former frontrunner in peddling weed right out the gate, scored only $5 million in sales during its first week in the biz. And Washington state, which apparently prizes quality over quantity only did $2 million worth of green-for-green transactions in its opening month.
Actually, technically speaking, that historic $11 million was reached in only the first five days of legal recreational sale, which began October 1. $3.5 million had already been earned by October 2. Bet the state wishes it could get more of that money, but unfortunately for the school children and other beneficiaries of government programs in the state, Oregon’s weed excise tax does not go into effect until January. At this pace, everybody will have smoked themselves into hibernation by then.
So how did Oregon end up being Jurassic World to Colorado’s Age of Ultron and Washington’s Fantastic Four? One explanation, according to the AP, is that Oregon had a far more advanced cannabis infrastructure than any previous state had before their recreational sales began.
While Colorado had 24 existing medical marijuana dispensaries before it went full-legal and Washington has only 4, Oregon sported more than 250 already up and running before October 1. That trend bodes well for California, which will have several times as many dispensaries already established when it enters the recreational marijuana industry, likely as soon as 2017.
Oregon’s supply was already in place, with sophisticated investment-run grow operations in Portland. Furthermore, Oregon is also currently free of some of the more stifling regulations that slowed Colorado and Washington in its early recreational days.
The state may already be servicing not only the existing patient and stoner communities, but old-time partakers returning to the wide world of weed. Casey Houlihan, executive director of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, told the AP, “[Stores are] telling me that customers lining up are in many cases 50 to 65 and haven’t purchased marijuana in decades, but they’re just happy to have the opportunity to do so.”