Oregon marijuana sales reach record $1 billion-plus in 2020

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Marijuana sales exceeded $1 billion in Oregon last year, with the vast majority of transactions coming from the state’s recreational cannabis retailers, coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic and mirroring record sales in other legal markets.

The Oregonian reported that total cannabis sales in the state rose from $795 million in 2019 to $1.11 billion in 2020, based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. That’s a record year for the state’s cannabis companies.

Oregon marijuana sales took off in March with a 20% increase when the coronavirus-spurred lockdowns began and steadily increased in the subsequent months.

Cannabis sales surpassed $100 million for the first time in May. The trend continued with more than $100 million in sales for the next three months. July alone saw sales of more than $106 million.

“Legal cannabis sales levels have stayed fairly constant after a significant rise early in the pandemic, but we don’t know to what degree this will last,” OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“Does this reflect what other segments of our economy have experienced – expanding or contracting primarily because of the pandemic’s role as a market disrupter – or is this the new normal?”

Other states have seen similar banner totals for 2020.

Illinois, for one, is projected to exceed $1 billion in sales this year, and Colorado’s 2020 numbers were outpacing all of 2019 with two months yet to be counted.