Oregon Cannabis: State of the State

Here we are at the end of 2020 (thank goodness!), which means it’s time for the fifth annual “State of the State” post on Oregon cannabis. The year 2020 was remarkable for the Oregon cannabis industry, mostly due to COVID and its effects, including record sales on the THC side. But there were also key regulatory changes, raging wildfires and other unforeseen developments to recall as we take stock on a tumultuous year, and look ahead to 2021.

Oregon passed the $1 billion sales mark

This happened sometime in late November, according to data provided by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), which was widely picked up in the press. To put that number in perspective, 2019 sales through the same period were $726 million, which puts the state at a 40% gain year-over-year. And it’s not like Oregon was coming off a slow stretch, either: 2019 saw retail sales rise 24.1% over 2108; and 2018 saw a 29.1% increase over 2017.

There are likely a multitude of factors driving the outsized 2020 increase. The big one is probably COVID and its related effects, including federal stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, work from home, more free time, etc. Another factor

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