I have lived in Oregon my entire life. I am a fourth generation Oregonian, which is a fact that I am quite proud of. Oregon has always been a leader when it comes to marijuana policy, being the first to decriminalize, second to legalize medical marijuana, and third to legalize marijuana for adult use.
Oregon is also home to the most robust marijuana industry in America, with the lowest financial barrier to entry in the country. In other states you have to pay out the nose for marijuana business licenses, if you are even lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to get one. Many states limit the number of licenses that they will issue, and only issue them via a lottery.
In Oregon if you can find a location that is in a zone that allows marijuana businesses, all that is left is getting the license (thousands of dollars as opposed to hundreds of thousands or over a million like other states) and jumping through some bureaucratic hoops. I talk to marijuana business owners all over the country and they always talk about how easy it must be to start a marijuana business in Oregon compared to other states.
There are a ton of issues facing marijuana businesses in Oregon right now once they are operational, but getting the ducks in a row to start is definitely easier in Oregon compared to other states. But if that’s true for one entrepreneur, so too is it true for other entrepreneurs which is why Oregon’s marijuana industry is so crowded. To quote legendary cultivator Jorge Cervantes, “If you have a garage in Oregon, chances are it has a green cross on it.”
Numbers were released this week detailing how many marijuana business license applications the State of Oregon received, and the numbers are much higher than regulators expected. Per Biz Journals:
In another sign that cannabis could be bigger business than previously forecast, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says it received 1,907 recreational marijuana license applications in 2016 — far outstripping a projected 800 to 1,200, the agency said.
Seven hundred sixty-two of those applications were approved as of the end of last week, a big jump from 500 licenses in early December. In that time, the number of licensed retailers went from 99 to 260.
Processors, who have struggled with strict testing and labeling requirements, have been slower to get licensed, but the number in that category was up significantly as well, from 18 to 51.
At one point in time there were residency requirements in Oregon’s marijuana industry, but those were removed. Since then there has been a flood of out-of-state money pouring into Oregon’s marijuana industry. Due to issues regarding marijuana testing, the industry has been sluggish as of late. Oregon’s legislative session begins soon, and hopefully things will get fixed. A lot of people are losing their shirts right now it Oregon, which is very sad to watch. But hopefully brighter times are ahead! #OregonProud
image via OregonLive.com