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With record-breaking harvest, Oregon is swimming in weed again

The December median wholesale price for a pound of cannabis was $948, down about a third from $1,397 a year earlier.
Credit: Cathy Cheney/Portland Business Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. — Licensed cannabis growers harvested a record-breaking 11.1 million pounds of Oregon’s finest in 2021, according to data from state regulators, a 38% increase over 2020 and a staggering 88% gain from 2019.

The result is a market once more in vast oversupply, inflicting pain on growers.

“It’s brutal,” said Mike Getlin, owner of the Old Apple Farm in Oregon City. “We’ve had to do two major rounds of layoffs at my farm. We are barely clearing payroll. We’re clearing $30,000 biweekly payrolls by 150 bucks, and have been for months.”

The December median wholesale price for a pound of cannabis was $948, down about a third from $1,397 a year earlier and the lowest it’s been since 2018. 

RELATED: Hemp COVID treatment: OSU researcher expects key next step ‘very soon’

At that time, the industry was clawing back from a glut that followed the 2017 harvest. The market stabilized by 2019 as retail pull grew and supply increased at a relatively modest annual rate of 13% over the two-year period.

Then came the big pandemic demand spike in spring 2020, prompting growers to coax every bud they could out of their operations.

When demand flattened last year, the tables turned on growers. 

Read the full story at the Portland Business Journal.        

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