Oregon's first week of recreational pot sales tops $11 million

%243.5 million in the first day of recreational pot sales

PORTLAND, Ore. -- After just one week of recreational marijuana sales, Oregon dispensaries have raked in an estimated $11 million.

That figure could mean the state's estimate is shockingly low for how much money it'll make when pot taxes kick in this January.

At Nectar on Northeast Sandy Boulevard and 33rd Avenue, they're restocking the shelves a lot this week.

"We're seeing about 500 people a day," said Nectar owner Jeff Johnson. Dispensary owners and customers are reporting Oregon's first week has gone very well.

"It's exciting," said a customer named Peter. "It's just really weird, it feels like it's not even really happening to be honest, it's really bizarre."

Watch: Marketing pros weigh in on marijuana sales

Another customer, Emily Szczech, was curious about the first day.

"We just wanted to come in and check it out," she said. "We've never been able to go into one of the stores to see what it's like."

The Oregon Retail Cannabis Association told KGW after tallying up sales from its members statewide and factoring in projections, they estimated there were $3.5 million in sales on the first day, October 1.

One week in, Oregon is already far ahead of dollars spent on pot compared to Colorado's first week of legal recreational sales, at $5 million. Washington took a month to sell its first $2 million, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

When Oregon voters approved recreational marijuana, the state set an estimate of $9 million in net tax revenue for the first full year of 2017. But the Oregon Retail Cannabis Association believes it'll bring in three to four times that much.

"It's just person after person after person," said Rachel Clerk, employee at Fresh Buds in Southeast Portland. For her store, these hundreds of new customers came at a crucial time. They were trying to stay afloat with only 15 medical customers a day.

"There for awhile, towards the end we were thinking we might have to close the doors because we weren't getting any kind of steady business," said Clerk. In this past week, they're back in the black, averaging 10 times as much foot traffic.

And dispensaries are seeing the customer base vary as much as the strains they're buying.

"Obviously we're seeing a young crowd but we're also seeing people in their 50s and 60s that would never have bought the product if it wasn't legal," said Johnson.

Oregon recreational marijuana sales are all tax-free until January. Once that 25 percent tax gets added on, it'll go to help fund schools, mental health programs, state police and the cities and counties that are allowing recreational sales.


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