The state is overflowing with unsold herb. Although the practical solution is seemingly to just grow less weed, the reality isn’t that simple
The state is overflowing with unsold herb. Although the practical solution is seemingly to just grow less weed, the reality isn’t quite so simple, as farmers who currently produce the plant could lose what for many is their only source of income.
Oregon opted to put a temporary moratorium on approving cannabis production license applications in 2018, but it has yet to clear the backlog. Meanwhile, the pot is piling up, as is the price difference.
USD$20,000 worth of cannabis in New York costs just $7,000 in Oregon.
The oversupply issue originated when Oregon legalized recreational, adult-use cannabis in 2016. The state encouraged its many existing illicit growers to apply for licenses and go legit. But what was once a bustling export industry is now an oversaturated market—the lion’s share of the weed was no longer being shipped out, as the drug’s classification as a Schedule I narcotic prevents it from being transported across state lines.
With a market in Oregon of less than 5 million people but thousands upon thousands of growers, an oversupply was inevitable.
“What we have is a market-access problem, and it’s a political problem,” Adam Smith, the founder and director of Craft Cannabis Alliance, told Business Insider, and warns that the state of Oregon has “at least a half a billion dollars in local investment that is on the verge of being wiped out. And a lot of that investment is centered in some of the poorest communities in the state.”
Smith is advocating for the legalization of interstate cannabis imports and exports in an effort to re-invigorate the Oregonian industry, which he warns is at serious risk. “Every brand in the state is struggling,” he says.
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