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Oregon saw $84.5 million in marijuana sales in March amid the coronavirus response

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the week leading up to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “stay home” order to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Oregonians were busy stocking up on groceries and essentials — and apparently setting a new record for cannabis sales in March.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which also oversees the state’s legal cannabis industry, announced on Tuesday that marijuana sales were up 30% in March compared to March 2019, making it the largest month on record for the state since it legalized marijuana back in July 2015.

In all, Oregon residents spent about $84,500,000 on marijuana sales, with retailers earning an average of $135,000 each, in March of this year, OLCC told KOIN 6. In March of 2019, customers bought $61.2 million worth of marijuana from Oregon dispensaries.

Sales spiked “significantly” in the week leading up to Gov. Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order compared to the week before, according to OLCC’s data.

“It appears to be ‘stocking up’ type of activity because the next two weeks returned to slightly below their early March sales levels,” Matt VanSickle, an OLCC spokesperson, said.

VanSickle added that February’s sales were also 20% higher than February 2020, and that there was a 21% increase in sales from March over February.

The OLCC also said alcohol sales were up 17% in March compared to March 2019; however, a more complete picture of the state’s liquor sales will be released by April 14 due to the OLCC still accounting for returns from bars and restaurants in addition to reconciling shipments and sales and inventory still available at liquor stores.

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