Weed county

August 27, 2021

Cannabis industry is taking over wine counties

With more than 100 wineries which produceover 70 varieties of wine, the wine country ofSouthern Oregonis considered to be one of the world’s best wine destinations for wine enthusiasts. However, with over a quarter of all cannabis-related businesses in Oregon applying for licenses in Jackson and Josephine counties, Southern Oregon has now become the state’s economic powerhouse for cannabis.


Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is the main regulatory body for the state’s legal cannabis market, more than 1,000 cannabis license applicants filed with OLCC in just the southern regions of the state.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, Jackson County’s 31 wineries and 13 vineyards employ a total of 355 people with total annual wages of $10 million (₹67 crore approx.). The cannabis industry has surpassed its tipsy rival, with 37 farms and 19 retail stores it employs 439 with a total payroll of $12.58 million (₹85 crore approx.).

Moreover, the cannabis industry pays better than the wine industry. The average annual wage for employees in cannabis farms is $33,731 (₹22 lacs), and for retail stores it’s $24,988 (₹16 lacs), while the wineries pay an average wage of $29,512 (₹20 lacs) and vineyards pay $25,478 (₹17 lacs).


The diurnal temperature swings and mountainous topography of Oregon provide an excellent environment for cannabis cultivation, so much so, that oversupply has become a problem for growers. According to the OLCC, there is almost 1 million pounds of flower in the system. That’s roughly a quarter pound of cannabis for every person in Oregon.

What does oversupply mean for the average cannabis user? There has been a steep drop in wholesale cannabis prices at $300 to $500 a pound, compared to more than $1,000 a pound just a couple of years ago. To deal with the lower prices, the growers in the region are preparing to establish processing facilities to extract oils from flower to create other products that have a higher value than flower.


A boon for local businesses

The dominance of cannabis in grow sites has kickstarted a lot of other businesses that provide services to the cannabis industry. Stores selling soil, lighting and other equipment needed for pot grows have been popping up throughout Southern Oregon. Contractors, gravel companies and other businesses are performing work to provide the infrastructure for cannabis businesses.


Although the report from Mail Tribune states that the employment statistics maybe incomplete, the cannabis industry in Oregon seems to be keeping up with expectations. Additionally, according to a recent report from Cowen & Co (an investment research firm), legalization has the potential to make the cannabis industry larger than the wine industry in the U.S. The report stated that by 2030, cannabis sales are expected to be as high as $75 billion (₹5 trillion approx.), compared to the previous estimate of $50 billion (₹3.3 trillion approx.) by 2026. The report also found that legal cannabis states binge drink 13% fewer times per month than non-cannabis states.

Looking at the success in Oregon, economically speaking it’s safe to say that the cannabis industry is picking up momentum and it’s here to stay.The question for India remains: When is India going to realize that its stance on cannabis needs to change?

“The greatest service that can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

~Thomas Jefferson


Source: http://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/local-pot-industry-surpasses-wine

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