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First Week Of Oregon Cannabis Sales Blow Other States Out Of The Water

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."

At Portland's Fresh Buds, the number of customers has exploded, going from just over a dozen to more than a hundred each day.

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.

h/t KGW, Cannabist, KTVA


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