Testing rules sinking Oregon marijuana sales, report shows

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Marijuana sales in Oregon have been sliding since the state implemented stringent new testing rules on Oct. 1, dropping 8.5% to $29.5 million that month.

The October decline marked the first time since May that the market posted sales below $30 million, according to a new report.

The report, by Colorado-based BDS Analytics, shows the impact of the new testing rules, which the state tweaked on Dec. 2 in a bid to offset supply shortages that arose after the regulations were introduced.

The sales decline worsened in November, BDS said, based on a pool of dispensaries that report sales to the company. From September to November, same-store sales declined 21%, while some stores saw a drop of more than 60%.

Hardest hit, according to the BDS report, was the edibles sector, which saw sales decline by a third, to $2 million in October from $3 million in September. That’s the lowest level since Oregon adult-use stores started selling edibles in June.

BDS’ report showed the Oregon market’s weekly sales averaged $7.6 million July through September. That number increased to $7.6 million in the first week of October, then declined in the ensuing weeks to $6.9 million, $6.1 million and $6 million. BDS attributed the spike in the first week of October to “savvy consumers (anticipating) the coming supply challenges.”

Before the Oregon Health Authority implemented the new testing rules, monthly sales had averaged $32.6 million between July and September after hitting $31.5 million in June.