PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon recreational-cannabis sales soared in 2020, peaking during a challenging summer of racial justice protests and coronavirus lockdowns.
The result was a record year of business for the state’s marijuana purveyors, based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees marijuana sales, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Total marijuana sales in Oregon jumped from $795 million in 2019 to more than $1 billion — $1,110,520,723 — for the year that just ended.
Oregonians began buying a lot more recreational cannabis in March when Gov. Kate Brown instituted a stay-at-home order and other restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Sales numbers for marijuana spiked about 20% in March and kept climbing in the following months.
In May, Oregon marijuana sales topped $100 million in a single month for the first time. Sales then surpassed $100 million in each of the three months that followed as well, with a high of more than $106 million in July.
In 2014, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Regulated sales began the following year.
State tax revenue from marijuana sales in 2020 likely will exceed $150 million. Much of that will go toward substance-abuse screening and programs to address addiction.