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2021 cannabis sales: Border-crossing weed buyers made this Oregon county No. 1

Cannabis sales in Oregon were up 6.5% in 2021, totaling nearly $1.2 billion, according to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
Credit: Portland Business Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. — Malheur County, where weed-deprived Idaho residents can find what they need, widened its lead as Oregon’s per-capita cannabis sales leader in 2021.

Combined adult-use and medical sales topped $111 million in the county, or $3,477 for each of its nearly 32,000 residents. Curry County in southwestern Oregon was a distant second at $540 per resident.

Of course, it’s folks from the nearby Boise-area population center who overwhelming fuel sales at nine cannabis stores in Ontario, the small Malheur County city on the Oregon-Idaho state line.

Their appetite apparently grew in 2021, as sales in Malheur County climbed 21.3%, the biggest gain in the 31 Oregon counties where pot is sold.

Overall, sales in Oregon were up 6.5% in 2021, to nearly $1.2 billion, according to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Malheur County represented 9.4% of that total, and an even higher 10.2% of adult-use or “recreational” sales (medical sales in the county were a paltry $655,000).

Adult-use sales are taxed at 17% by Oregon, which means Idahoans are helping send more than $18 million to state tax collectors. A 3% Ontario tax — the maximum local levy allowed on cannabis — transfers even more money from Idaho to Oregon.

It’s legal for Idahoans to buy cannabis in Oregon, although they can’t legally take it back to Idaho, where the plant remains verboten.

Visit the Portland Business Journal for the full Oregon county rankings, with information on total sales, percent change from 2020 and per-resident sales.

Watch KGW reporter stories here

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