Oregon Marijuana Harvest Exceeding Expectations Photo by Jeff W on Unsplash
September 8, 2020

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) recently released full sales and production data for July 2020. In the face of unprecedented demand, comments from market participants in recent months have expressed apprehensions about a possible shortage of product. However, harvests in June and July were outsized relative to the same months in 2019 and state data shows that the amount of unsold flower and trim expanded significantly from the beginning of July to the beginning of August.

The most recent OLCC data shows that total retail sales totaled roughly $106 million in July, up by about 6% from over $100 million the month prior. Monthly sales in Oregon typically rise through the summer to peak in August, but as we have noted previously, continued increases in revenue are especially notable given the dramatic rises observed beginning in March this year. Still, July’s new record sales figure is only up by about 3% from the previous peak of over $103 million in sales, recorded in May. This is a much smaller rise relative to those observed from March through May.

July 2020’s sales are up by about 46% year-over-year, from roughly $72.5 million in the same month in 2019. In the month’s prior to COVID-19 gripping the U.S. this year, annual growth rates were observed at about 30%.

In July, sales revenue generated by adult-use consumers rose to about $94 million, up from around $88 million in June. Sales to patients were essentially flat from June to July, at roughly $12 million each month.

Month-over-month changes in retail sales revenue and volume for the OLCC’s product categories are as follows: Revenue from sales of “usable marijuana” (the OLCC’s term for flower, trim, and pre-rolls) increased from roughly $60 million in June to about $63 million in July. However, sales volume of usable marijuana was relatively stable month-to-month, tracking at slightly under 25,000 pounds.

Concentrates and extracts generated about $27 million in July, up from over $24 million in retail revenue in June. The number of units of concentrates and extracts sold in July rose to about 1.31 million, from around 1.23 million the month before.

Finally, sales revenue from edibles and tinctures increased in July, to nearly $10 million, from around $9 million in June. The number of units of edibles and tinctures sold to consumers and patients also increased, from about 940,000 in June to over 1 million in July.

Monthly harvest figures were on the rise in July, significantly outpacing those from the same month a year ago for the second straight time. The wet weight of all plants harvested in Oregon climbed from about 300,000 pounds in June to roughly 425,000 pounds in July. July 2020’s harvest wet weight is up from about 315,000 pounds brought in by licensed growers in July 2019, indicating a notable expansion in production.

Harvest volumes typically jump in July when summer light-deprivation crops begin being brought in. Mason Walker, CEO of East Fork Cultivars, a licensed outdoor grower in southwest Oregon told Cannabis Benchmarks this month that the growing season through early August had been “amazing” and that he was expecting a bumper crop. While Walker’s company grows full-term plants for harvest in September and October, the generally favorable conditions likely contributed to stronger than usual mid-summer harvests.

As of early August, around 985,000 pounds of unsold “usable marijuana” was logged in the state’s CTS, up dramatically from over 700,000 pounds recorded as unsold in early July. OLCC data shows that statewide unsold inventories of concentrates and extracts held fairly steady at roughly 35,000 pounds; that for edibles and tinctures rose from about 290,000 to roughly 310,000 pounds.

Oregon’s Spot Index was generally on the rise in July. It experienced a notable dip in the final week of the month. However, this was due to a surge of lower-priced outdoor grown flower reported, which skewed the overall volume-weighted average downward. For July as a whole, Oregon’s Spot Price was up 6.1% from June’s monthly mean composite price.