2016 was a solid year for the cannabis industry in Oregon. Data provided by the state’s Department of Revenue indicates legal marijuana generated significantly more tax revenue for the state than expected, at just over $54M. This revenue came despite some strict regulations that were expected to hamper Oregon’s recreational marijuana far more than it did.
Previous estimates by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) were that the state would generate $10.7M in tax revenue from 2014 to 2015, and the Oregon Financial Estimate Committee predicted marijuana tax revenue would fall somewhere between $17M and $40M per year. Both estimates were far short of the state’s year-end total. In total, the cannabis industry did about $394M worth of sales in 2016. Here’s how that total breaks down:
recreational vs. medical cannabis sales
$291M (74%) of that amount was for recreational marijuana, while $103M (26%) was for medical marijuana.
$246M in sales was in flower products. That number breaks down into $143M for hybrid, $56M for Indica and $47M for Sativa.
$67M of the total sales figure was for concentrates. That number breaks down into $30M for vape, $19M to unspecified concentrate products, $6.2M for shatter and another $6.2M for oils.
$27M of the total sales were for edibles. That breaks down into $12M for candies, $6M for chocolates, $5M for infused/others and $4M for tinctures.
$54M of the total sales fell into miscellaneous categories. Among those categories included $30M for pre-rolled cannabis products, $12M for devices and $12M “others.”Clearly, the industry is already exceeding expectations in Oregon after a relatively short period of legalization. Voters passed Measure 91 to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in 2014, but legal sales did not officially begin in the state until October 2015. This means that within just over a year, marijuana became a near-$400M industry in Oregon worth a significant amount in tax revenue for the state. With how fast the industry has taken off, all estimates indicate it will continue to rapidly expand in the coming years as more companies enter the field and the stigma associated with recreational marijuana use continues to erode. Oregon already got off to a hot start in January with $32.4M in sales, putting it close to the pace needed to exceed 2016’s total. With sales expected to increase throughout the year, look for this to be another big year for the cannabis industry in Oregon.
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