January Cannabis Sales in Oregon Down 4% Compared to End of 2018
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) recently released sales and production data for January 2019, as well as an update on unsold inventory in the licensed market as of the beginning of March. Sales revenue and volume for all product types experienced a downturn to open 2019 after seeing across-the-board jumps in the final month of 2018. Correspondingly, Oregon’s Spot Index appeared to respond to decreased demand by declining for much of January, with the month’s average composite rate off by nearly 10% compared to that of December 2018.
The most recent OLCC data shows that total retail sales reached about $53 million in January, down by around 4% compared to revenues of over $55 million generated in December 2018. January 2019’s sales are up by roughly 18% year-over-year, from a little under $45 million in total retail revenues recorded in January 2018.
In January, sales revenue generated by general consumers and registered patients both decreased compared to the month prior. Adult-use consumers spent about $48 million at licensed retailers in Oregon in January, down from around $51 million in November. Meanwhile, sales to patients declined slightly, to roughly $4.5 million.
Breaking down retail sales by the OLCC’s product categories – “usable marijuana” (the OLCC’s term for flower, trim, and pre-rolls), concentrates and extracts, and edibles and tinctures – the dollar value and volume of each group decreased in January. Revenue from sales of flower slipped to about $27 million in January, down from just over $27.5 million in December. Concentrates and extracts generated about $14.5 million in retail revenue in January, down from around $15 million the month prior. Finally, sales of edibles and tinctures accounted for roughly $5.5 million in January, down from over $6.25 million in December.
In regard to usable marijuana, sales volume was largely flat from December 2018 to January 2019, with both months seeing a bit under 16,000 pounds of product purchased by patients and consumers. Based on the revenue generated by flower sales in those months, noted just above, statewide retail prices for such product averaged about $1,715 per pound in January, down from an average retail rate of a little under $1,750 per pound in December.
While retail prices have reportedly fallen significantly in Oregon along with wholesale rates, state data analyzed in conjunction with our price assessments indicates that licensed storefronts can still achieve strong margins on flower. Additionally, a pound of flower almost certainly retails for higher than the average prices just calculated, as it is nearly always sold in increments smaller than an ounce and at higher rates; only registered medical patients may purchase larger quantities.
Harvest figures for January also remained stable compared to December 2018. Licensed growers brought in about 125,000 pounds of wet plant material in both January 2019 and December 2018. January 2019’s harvest volume is up very slightly compared to the same month a year ago, suggesting that the amount of operational indoor production capacity has held fairly steady over the course of the past 12 months.
Oregon’s statewide inventory of unsold usable marijuana decreased as of the beginning of March, after swelling over the course of the final quarter of 2018. As of March 2nd, over 1.15 million pounds of dried flower and trim were logged in the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), down from over 1.35 million pounds at the outset of this year.
Notably, some sales figures and other data from December 2018 were adjusted in the most recent report issued by the OLCC. We last discussed the OLCC’s sales and production data for December, as well as inventory data as of the beginning of 2019, in our post on February 6th, . The OLCC’s original figures for December can be found in that report.