Not everything is increasing in price. The price of legal marijuana in Oregon has been in freefall over the past year — and sales are also on a downward spiral.
In July 2021, the average price of a pound of Cannabis was about $1,000 more than what it costs today. It dropped from $5,433 to $4,536.
Sales dropped from over $103 million this time last year to just over $82 million in 2022, reports KATU.
“You Gotta Budget Differently”
When it comes to the drop in sales, some consumers blame inflation. They say they are decreasing their ganja consumption to make up for price increases in other areas.
“The price of gas makes everything else, you know, you gotta budget differently,” said Max Perry, a contractor.
Perry said he is always having to adjust his weed budget according to how much cashflow he has. Because of that, he said he hasn’t noticed much of a difference in his personal buying habits.
But Perry says he knows plenty of others who are smoking less weed. “My family, especially my brother, went from smoking an eighth to a quarter ounce a week to maybe a gram or two a week, so that is a big difference,” he said.
More Bang For The Buck
Some, like Patrick Sprague, have also adjusted what products they buy.
“I’m usually looking at better bang for my buck, buying less of the higher-end products to try and save a little cash for Sprague said.
“At least once a week I hear about a small business that is shuttering and just hoping to hold on to their business license long enough that when the market recovers, they are still in a position that they could maybe reopen,” said Marissa Rodriguez, COO of Nimble Distribution.
As a distributor, Rodriguez deals with both marijuana farmers and retailers. He said both are dealing with their customers pulling back, while worrying about surviving with their industry in contraction.
Oregon Overproduction = Low Prices
Marijuana’s price plummet also has to do with the market. Experts say Oregon’s market is flooded by overproduction.
As the economy ground to a halt during the pandemic, with thousands of Oregonians furloughed, marijuana sales soared.
“Farms ramped up production, and then now we have this oversupply and then this decrease in consumer demand,” said Rodriguez.
Another factor keeping prices low in Oregon? The state’s unlicensed, untaxed marijuana market exerts downward price pressure.
Some pot shops say they are still viable, thanks to steady customers.
“We have been around for almost 10 years,” said Ian Millhollen, manager at northeast Portland’s Treehouse Collective. ”We have a very devoted client base.” (This reporter believes Ian, as I’ve visited the shop and was impressed.)
Milhollen said he has noticed Oregon farms started reducing prices, particularly after people started going back to work.
“The demand just went down because people stopped getting the stimulus checks,” he said. ”There was more stuff to do. People are traveling again [and] spending money on other things,” he said.