There’s something off about Oregon’s marijuana industry, as prices keep plummeting to a new low in the midst of a huge cannabis flower surplus in the state.
Two and a half years after recreational marijuana has been legalized in Oregon, a huge surplus of legal marijuana has formed as a result of poor economic handling, and the ones damaged the most are once again farmers and producers.
Prices of cannabis have been sharply dropping for the last few months in Oregon and store owners are now finding themselves in a very less envious position than a few years ago.
This comes as a consequence of flooding the market with high-quality cannabis the year before, as in 2017 Oregonians grew three times more weed than they smoked.
In February, state officials announced that 500.000 kilograms of cannabis flower were logged in the state’s database.
Last year, Oregonians consumed around 155.000kg of weed which is only a third of what was grown.
Is a surplus worse than a shortage?
For customers like Daniel Pollard, the surplus is a blessing in disguise.
“There’s a lot to choose from here,” said Pollard,“Sometimes I’m like, I can’t buy it, it’s too expensive, but now-a-days it’s really affordable.”
Store owners are being forced to lower the prices because the competition is too high, which leads to smaller profits and having to take emergency actions.
One such action was letting go of people that were parts of their cannabis community for years.
La Cannaisseur owner Aleeya Kim said that the farmers and growers are the ones suffering the worst hits of this surplus, as they have to keep up with not only the high demand but low prices as well.
“That one was as high as $12.00 a gram and now it’s down to about $5.00 at the moment,” she said.“Farmers are hardest hit now,they’re not able to cover their overhead.”
Even though the state is in a huge surplus with legal weed, farmers are poised to double up their production by the end of this year.
There are even indications that if the state doesn’t do something to regulate the prices and help the growers and retailers to find a solution, farmers might turn to the black market.
“If somebody has got thousands of pounds that they can’t sell, they are desperate,” says Myron Chadowitz, owner of Cannassentials. “Desperate people do desperate things.”
So far there haven’t been any significant leaks to the black market because black market dealers can’t even thrive in Oregon’s weed market, with prices of a gram going as low as $4, and an ounce can be bought for $80.