Despite several speed bumps regarding the protocols and procedures for the scientific testing of cannabis products, the legal cannabis scene in Oregon had a pretty good year!
The state legalized cannabis for recreational use in November of 2014, and started making legal sales to adults over the age of 21 in July of 2015. Ever since then their market has been expanding slowly but surely. In 2016, the amount of excise tax revenue that legal marijuana sales surpassed $54.5 million dollars for the state. That money can do a lot of good to not only help boost the state’s economy, but can also provide more infrastructure like road work, and beautification projects.
How exactly does this stack up against other legal states though? In 2016, Oregon’s neighbor to the North, Washington saw a excise tax revenue of over $256 million dollars. That is a pretty staggering difference, especially considering the proximity between the two states. With that being said, Washington made the move to legalize the plant two years earlier, having passed Initiative 502 in November 2012, and retail locations opened their doors in July of 2014. So Washington has had an additional year of legal sales to establish the marketplace, and a growing enthusiasm.
Another aspect to think about though is population. Washington state has a population of just over 7.5 million, while Oregon only has just over 4 million residents. With almost twice the people, it’s no surprise that Washington’s numbers tower over those in Oregon.
So let’s expand on their tax numbers a little further. In Washington’s second year of offering legal herb, they made about $129 million dollars in tax revenue. Considering they have nearly twice the population figures, Oregon’s showing of $54m in their second year (2016) isn’t too far behind!
If Oregon’s market scales similarly to how Washington’s did, they could potentially double their revenues and sales next year, and this would have a huge impact on the state’s financial stability. Only time will tell if their market can succeed at similar rates to the Evergreen State’s, but we sure hope they do!
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