Record Production, Staffing Challenges for Enforcement, and Highly Efficient Legal Grow Facilities Mark the State of the Cannabis Industry

By: Garrett Jaenicke // EVP Marketing & Member Services


Event Photos by Amanda Photographic – CLICK HERE

At this month’s What’s Brewing, we took a look at the state of the cannabis industry. Several key takeaways emerged from the discussion with the panelists.

  • According to Steve Marks of the OLCC, sales of marijuana hit an all-time high of $52.5 million for monthly sales back in August of 2017. Most recently, April 2018 tracked at $47.5 million.
    • Usable marijuana (flower) sales make up the vast majority of the type of product being sold vs. concentrated oils or edibles.
    • Consumer sales far exceed that of medical patient sales on a monthly basis. April 2018 saw sales of $42.5 million for consumer and only $5 million for patients.
    • On the supply side, there was a huge spike in production of wet-weight marijuana in October 2017 with 2.5 million pounds being produced. Compare that to October 2016 which saw only one million pounds of production.
    • When asked if there is an over-supply, Marks responded with “I don’t know for sure. We’re going to do a study on it.”


  • From Bend Chief of Police Jim Porter, we heard that one of the department’s biggest concerns is illicit labs that are processing concentrated oils. It’s a dangerous process as butane, a very inflammable gas, is a key component and large explosions can occur. He also said that due to staffing issues, the department just doesn’t have a good ability to sufficiently enforce the law on these illegal processing sites.


  • Andre Ourso of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reminded everyone that medical marijuana has been legal in Oregon for 20 years. The most noticeable, yet understandable, trend they’re seeing is a decline in the number of medical marijuana patients by 27% as they shift to getting marijuana on the legal recreational side. Following suit, the number of medical growers has declined as well.


  • When the question came up about the environmental impact of indoor marijuana growers, Laura Breit of Colebreit Engineering said that legal indoor facilities by and large are more efficient with their energy and water resources than traditional agriculture. The main advantage of the indoor growers is water reclamation that is done through their HVAC systems and reused as irrigation for the plants.

These are just some of the highlights. To hear all the details of this great session, click here to watch the video on the Bend Chamber’s YouTube channel.




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