How Will Increased Cannabis Production Impact Oregon Wholesale Prices? Photo: Zack Spear via Unsplash
August 10, 2021

Oregon Retail Sales Climb Again

July 2021 legal cannabis sales in Oregon totaled $103,467,261, a 3.4% increase over June 2021 and a 2.9% increase over July 2020. The statewide sales trend had been down in May and June, after reaching an all-time high for the state’s market in April 2021 at $110,804,219.

July 2020 was the peak of last year’s pandemic sales boom, after which sales ratcheted lower, falling to just under $90 million in November 2020. Retail revenues climbed from the November 2020 trough through April 2021, indicating demand remains strong even as month-to-month revenue figures have become more volatile. Longer term, sales remain in an uptrend but increased volatility often suggests either a change in the overall trend or a strengthening of the uptrend.

Oregon Monthly Retail Sales & Trend Line

Source: Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission (OLCC) and Cannabis Benchmarks

Cannabis Harvest Wet Weight Continues to Expand

Oregon reported the wet weight of July 2021’s cannabis harvest at 601,980 pounds, a 28.3%  year-on-year increase and a 26.9% increase over the June 2021 harvest volume. Of the overall  601,980 pounds of wet weight, outdoor growers brought in just over 253,450 pounds of wet plant material and the indoor harvest came in at just over 220,455 pounds. Increasing supply from outdoor light-deprivation harvests in Oregon, which began last month, have corresponded to a downward trend in observed wholesale prices for such product.

Oregon Spot Index on the Rise; State-Reported Median Wholesale Prices Stable

From June to July, Cannabis Benchmarks data indicates a $90 – or 6.9% – increase in Oregon’s composite volume-weighted per-pound price. Year-on-year, July 2021’s monthly average price increased $45. Looking ahead, slowing demand growth and increasing supply from outdoor growers in the coming months could disrupt, or at least moderate, the upward trend that has marked Oregon’s Spot Index for much of this year.

The Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission (OLCC) also reports on median wholesale prices for “Usable Marijuana,” the agency’s term for flower and other dried plant material for smoking. According to the July data, the median wholesale price for Usable Marijuana was unchanged for the third month in a row at $1,299 per pound. Stepping back to look at long-term movement, prices had been in an uptrend since the low of $619 per pound reported in April 2019 but began consolidating between $1,299 and $1,351 per pound this year. That said, price is flat at the low end of the range, suggesting lower prices are the path of least resistance for now.

[Editor’s Note: Cannabis Benchmarks price assessments are volume-weighted averages, rather than the medians reported by OLCC. Volume-weighted average pricing is important as different grow types command varied pricing and the supply mix shifts throughout the year. As noted above, higher-priced indoor flower constituted less than half of the volume of plant material harvested in July, reversing the situation observed just the month prior. The supply mix will shift heavily to outdoor product in Q4 of any given year in conjunction with the autumn harvest.]

Oregon Wholesale Extract / Concentrate Prices

Wholesale extract / concentrate prices have flat-lined over the past five months at $5,443 per pound. This flattening of wholesale prices may suggest the market is plateauing at current levels after creating a price base as low as $4,536 per pound in December 2018. The $4,536 level was tested five times and held – and so too has the price ceiling at $5,443 per pound. It seems the market has found some price stability at current levels, as well as a floor down at $4,536 per pound.

Oregon Retail Per-Gram Flower Prices Continue to Slide

Statewide median retail prices for usable marijuana have been trending lower over the past four months, with the price per gram at $5.13 in July, down from $5.27 in June. On a year-over-year basis, per-gram prices have fallen over 8%, from $5.56 to $5.13.

The median retail per-gram price of extracts slipped $0.42 on a month-on-month basis to $18.33 per gram in July. Extract per-gram retail prices reached their low at $17.00 in April 2020, then tacked up to $20.00 in August 2020. Prices have remained within this $3.00 consolidation band through July 2021, suggesting balance between supply and demand.