The sudden wildfires that torched more than 1 million acres across Oregon this month completely destroyed at least seven marijuana businesses and damaged at least dozen more, according to preliminary state survey data.
Marijuana has rapidly grown into a major Oregon industry, with sales topping $100 million a month during the pandemic. Oregon sales were up 41% through August and are on track to top $1 billion for the first time.
The wildfires appear to have directly affected a tiny percentage of the state’s 2,300 licensees but it’s too soon to know whether that destruction and other indirect impacts might have a broader effect on this year’s crop.
“Demand for product has been pretty high, reflected in the sales numbers. So we’ll just have to see. This is harvest season,” said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates marijuana in the state.
The OLCC sent out the wildfire survey last week to begin assessing the damage and ascertain how the commission should respond. Pettinger said staff are considering temporary rules that would enable licensees affected by the wildfire to transfer their product to others and stay within the state’s mandatory tracking system. [Read more at The Oregonian]