Early sales of edibles in Oregon have been promising and sales throughout the nation’s legal recreational markets show that edibles are experiencing greater growth than smokable flower.
The encouraging start to sales of cannabis edibles since their legal rollout last month has manufacturers ramping up production, Statesman Journal reports.
Adult use sales of marijuana flower began in Oregon last October, but edibles, extracts, and topicals became legal for sale on June 2. The Oregon Legislative Revenue office expects the new available cannabis products to significantly increase tax revenue over the next few months.
“It is a new range of products, a new market, and not necessarily the same market that marijuana leaves have been in for a long time,” said Mazen Malik, the senior economist at the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office. “Sales should be toward the higher end (of a 10 to 15 percent boost) in the beginning of the month, and then come down. People want to see how this works.”
Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana to adults over 21 in 2014 when they passed Measure 91. The state has reportedly collected nearly $15 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales this year through May, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue.
With dispensaries expanding to include cannabis-infused edibles, manufactures are responding by ramping up production to meet the new demand. Economists expect the edible market to continue to grow throughout the state, according to Malik, partly because the products weren’t previously available.
“The illegal and illicit market didn’t offer too many of these products,” Malik said. “In the past, you didn’t have candy-infused products being sold by the guy around the corner, with gummy bears in his pocket.”
Right now Oregon’s marijuana industry imposes limitations on the THC content in edibles sold in the recreational market. Consumers can buy a single edible containing up to 15 milligrams of THC. Medical marijuana patients, however, are allowed edibles that contain 50 milligrams of THC per container. The limitations on recreational edibles are expected to increase or be lifted later this year when the state’s official recreational marijuana marketplace opens.
Research indicates that the cannabis market is evolving, with users beginning to prefer edibles and other cannabis products to smokable flower. In June a Quartz article, “Nobody smokes their weed anymore,” explored the market’s changing landscape. The global market magazine presented conclusions from a report by market-research firm Headset, which found that in Washington flowers now account for less than 60 percent of sales, compared to 75 percent less than two years ago. Edibles, on the other hand, have experienced an 11 percent growth between January and May of this year.
Colorado is experiencing a similar boom in edible sales. According to BDS Analytics, a cannabis industry data firm, edible sales have surged 53 percent in the first quarter of this year from the same period in 2015. Sales of marijuana flower saw an 11 percent increase during that same time.
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