Oregonians love their legal cannabis - even more than expected. The recreational cannabis market in Oregon may only be a week old, but it's already made $11 million according to KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland.
These sales surpassed those in other legal states: Colorado made just $5 million in its first week, while Washington took a month to make $2 million. Alaska plans to begin retailing marijuana in 2016.
So where's all that money coming from? Jeff Johnson, the owner of Nectar dispensary, told KGW, "Obviously we're seeing a young crowd but we're also seeing people in their 50s and 60s that would never have bought the product if it wasn't legal."
The retail market is a huge windfall for dispensaries, but not so much for the state. In Oregon, cannabis sales are tax-free until Jan. 2016.
For now there's no telling if those sales will hold steady. But if Oregonians can take anything from Colorado's example, it's a reason for optimism: recreational sales started slower in the Rockies, but Colorado netted $700 million in total sales in 2014 and even set a state record by bringing in more than $50 million in June 2015.
"Green gold," indeed.