Marijuana users in Oregon bought $84.5 million worth of licensed product in March, according to data compiled by the state's Liquor Control Commission and cited in various media. That tally was 6.4% higher than in the previous month, and 30% above the March 2019 result. March 2020 also set a new all-time monthly sales record for the drug in Oregon.
It nearly goes without saying, however, that this was due to heavy buying in the face of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak. A 65% year-over-year sales increase for the week of March 15 to March 21 strongly suggests that marijuana users were stocking up in advance of an expected "stay at home" order mandated by the state; that order was issued on March 23.
This is not unusual. A recent set of data compiled by a consultancy firm called Headset revealed similar peaks in both Washington state and California, which like Oregon permit both recreational and medical marijuana consumption and sale.
Still, licensed marijuana sales have generally been on the rise in Oregon, a pioneering state for legalization. For all of 2019, sales rose by a robust 22% over 2018, coming in at $793 million. This generated $110 million in tax revenue for the state.
One marijuana company that is very active on the Oregon market is high-profile Canadian producer, distributor, and retailer Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC). For example, the company's popular Tweed brand is grown under license in the state (Canopy Growth began life under the name Tweed Marijuana).
On Thursday, Canopy Growth's stock traded down by nearly 1.8%, while the broader market indexes generally recorded gains on the day.