Want to make a lot of money? Open a weed shop on the Idaho border.
Cannabis sales in Oregon counties along the border with Idaho are higher than anywhere else in the state, according to new data from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.
"In things you cannot make up," state economist Josh Lehner writes in his study, "Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420 percent the statewide average."
Here, a word of legal advice: Cannabis is not legal in Idaho, and possession in even small amounts is a misdemeanor. But that doesn't stop users from driving over the state line to stock up.
Lehner calls the trend a product of "border effects," and writes that "about 75 percent of Oregon sales and more like 35 percent of Washington sales in counties along the Idaho border appear due to the border effect itself and not local socio-economic conditions." That means the outsized weed sales along the Oregon-Idaho border aren't due to those communities being better off or more inclined to smoke up. They're attributed to out-of-state residents crossing state lines to get high.
"This does not mean that all of those larger sales are necessarily to Idahoans," Lehner writes. "It could be other customers maybe traveling from further away or from elsewhere within our state who are traveling through."
Here's a map of where people are buying the most Oregon weed.