Oregon cannabis sales reached another milestone in May, topping $100 million for the first time since recreational use was legalized in 2015.
According to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, total sales for the month were $103 million—a 15 percent jump from April, and a 60 percent increase from this time last year.
It's the third consecutive record-breaking month for weed sales in the state. In March, sales hit $83 million—the highest single-month total to that point. A week-to-week analysis, however, showed a gradual rise as coronavirus spread across Oregon, the most significant spike coming just before the governor declared cannabis dispensaries an essential business, allowing them to stay open. Sales then regressed, suggesting the increase was related to uncertainty over the statewide economic shutdown.
"It seemed like there was a bunch of panic buying right up until the Stay Home, Save Lives order," Tyson Hawarth, owner of Oregon's Finest, told WW in April. "And then, as soon as that officially took place, we saw sales take a nosedive. Since then it's been very, very slow."
But sales have continued to climb upward. In April, sales hit $89 million. According to the OLCC, cannabis tax revenues for 2020, even before May, were expected to be $9 million more than earlier projections by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.