Oregon Archives - Green Market Report

Dave HodesMarch 8, 2022
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Oregon made history as the first state to legalize psilocybin for anyone over 21 to use in a therapeutic setting with the passing of Ballot Measure 109 on November 3, 2020

The Oregon Psilocybin Services Section, a new section within the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division Center for Health Protection, will implement Measure 109 and directs the OHA to license and regulate the manufacturing, transportation, delivery, sale, and purchase of psilocybin products and the provision of psilocybin services over a two-year development period, from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

There’s plenty of time to hash out rules—most are slated to be worked on in May with final rules by the end of the year. And there’s more work to be done about licensing testing labs by early 2023. 

But since the legalization approval by voters, there has been much discussion about what the psilocybin buy-and-use facility looks like; exactly who should be the certified psilocybin services facilitator monitoring the “client” during their session; and how and what a follow-up or integration process should be. 

What seems to be most concerning is the facilitator part of the legalization equation. Anybody can be a facilitator if they have a high school diploma, or its equivalent, without additional degrees or certifications (OHA plans to revisit these qualifications in May). Dr. Saul Levin, chief executive officer and medical director of the American Psychiatric Association, in opposing Measure 109, spelled out the medical community’s issues with facilitators in a letter. “Such treatment should be evidence-based and determined solely by professional standards of care,” Levin wrote.

Though the facilitator will have to go through a training program, a medical license is not required. “We don’t know yet how this is going to work,” psychologist Elizabeth Nielson, co-founder and lead trainer at New York-based Fluence, told Psychedealia. Fluence offers continuing education and certificate programs in psychedelic integration and psychedelic-assisted therapy. “The entire legislation and project, and creating this new (facilitator) credential, is a bit of an experiment. I know that it’s really groundbreaking. It’s really new. It’s really well-intentioned, and it’s got the potential to bring enormous benefit to people. We all have to kind of wait and see how things play out.”

Joshua White, founder, and executive director of the Fireside Project, a psychedelic peer support service, told Psychedealia that he agrees Oregon is an interesting experiment. “I do know that the law requires psilocybin facilitators to obtain a license from the state, and the courses that they have to take in order to get those licenses are pretty regulated in terms of what the courses have to cover, and the duration,” he said. “What I also think is noteworthy and commendable is that Measure 109 is really facilitated psilocybin outside of a clinical medical model. So you could have an agency in Oregon have a guided psilocybin experience for spiritual development for religious reasons. I think it is really important that people be empowered with the choice to have these healing and developmental and transformational experiences without a diagnosis.”

Whatever happens in Oregon, other states are lining up right behind them to legalize psilocybin.

Denver, Colorado became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin in May 2019, followed by Oakland, California (in June 2019) and Santa Cruz, California (in January 2020). 

Washington, D.C. decriminalized psilocybin in November 2020, followed by four other cities, including Seattle, in October 2021.

 Colorado is the next state likely to legalize psilocybin. A national political action committee based in Washington, D.C., New Approach Political Action Committee, which supported both Oregon’s Measure 109 and D.C.’s Initiative 81 decriminalization measures (plus Oregon’s cannabis legalization measure in 2014) has submitted four initiatives to the state.

While psilocybin legalization still has a bumpy road ahead of it, perhaps the first-ever psilocybin legalization effort in Oregon can take cues from the first-ever rollout of legalized cannabis in Colorado—the largely successful so-called Colorado Model—as discussed by John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings Institution: “Because legalization is experimental, the state should be committed to understanding what effects—positive and negative—are associated with the policy change. Effective implementation should not mask the need for high-quality, robust, systematic policy analysis, which is as important to good government as the implementation itself,” Hudak wrote in July 2014, nearly two years after voters legalized cannabis in the state. “Still, a strong launch, built on a capable and flexible administrative infrastructure, gives Colorado a leg up as events unfold. If the state can maintain the flexibility, administrative competence, inclusiveness, coordination, and sense of mission that have marked legalization’s rollout, it will be well-positioned to continue its success for some time.”

Sidebar

Oregon’s Ballot Measure 109 and timeline

– November 3, 2020. Voters pass Ballot Measure 109, which legalizes psilocybin for anyone over 21 to purchase and use in a therapeutic setting.

– January 1, 2021. The development phase for Measure 109 begins.

– March, 2021. Oregon Psilocybin Services Advisory Board, appointed by Governor Kate Brown, meets for the first time.

– June, 2021, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) brings on Angela Allbee to manage the newly-created Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) Section.

– January 7-February 6, 2022. The OPS Section conducted a community interest survey designed to better understand who may be interested in accessing psilocybin services, service center licensure, facilitator licensure, manufacturer licensure, testing lab licensure, and/or training program approval.

– February, 2022. The Rules Advisory Committees reviewed draft rules for psilocybin products and testing. Community members will be invited to provide comments on the proposed rules during the public comment period scheduled from April 1-April 22, 2022. 

– May 2022. OHA expects to adopt rules about the testing of psilocybin products, and which product forms of psilocybin will be permitted. More testing rules may come later in 2022 as well as rules about dosing, and other rules about the requirements of facilitator trainers.

– June 30, 2022. Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board will submit findings and recommendations.

– Summer, 2022. A second public listening session is scheduled (the first was in December, 2021). Members of the public are encouraged to attend and share their feedback on the development of the work to build the structure for Measure 109.

– December 31, 2022. All rules for Measure 109 are expected to be adopted.

– January 2, 2023. The OHA will begin accepting applications for psilocybin laboratory testing licenses.

Sources: Ballotpedia https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Measure_109,_Psilocybin_Mushroom_Services_Program_Initiative_(2020); Oregon Psilocybin Services Overview https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/Pages/Oregon-Psilocybin-Services.aspx; Listening session December, 2021 https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/Documents/M109-Summary-2021-Dec.pdf; Oregon Measure 109 http://oregonvotes.org/irr/2020/034text.pdf; and https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/Pages/Psilocybin-License-Lab-Testing.aspx


Debra BorchardtJanuary 22, 2020
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With all the attention heaped upon new legal states like Illinois and Michigan, it’s easy to forget about the OG Oregon. The Bulletin reported earlier this week that Oregon’s cannabis sales continue to climb higher. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission reported that sales for 2019 totaled $793 million, which was $150 million more than in 2018.

According to the article, the sales generated more than $110 million in tax revenues. These sales are also expected to reach one billion dollars for 2020.

The top five counties in terms of legal, recreational cannabis sales to consumers were:

Multnomah $203.9 million

Washington $75.3 million

Lane           $70 million

Marion        $50.6 million

Deschutes   $39.6 million

Source: Oregon Liquor Control Commission

The Border Effect

Multnomah County is home to Portland, which explains why its sales were so much greater than other counties. The article also noted that the smaller counties of Baker and Malheur were growing quickly due to their proximity to the state of Idaho, which has not legalized recreational marijuana.

The Oregon Economic Analysis wrote, “Obviously recreational marijuana is not legal in Idaho, but even after throwing the data into a rough border tax model that accounts for incomes, number of retailers, tax rates and the like, there remains a huge border effect. Roughly speaking, about 75% of Oregon sales and more like 35% of Washington sales in counties along the Idaho border appear due to the border effect itself and not local socio-economic conditions. Furthermore, and in things you cannot make up, Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420% the statewide average.”

This analysis also points to increased sales along the Washington state line. Even though Washington has legalized recreational sales, there are more stores in Oregon and the taxes are lower. The report wrote, “Finally, the last finding decomposes the differences in sales seen along the Oregon-Washington border itself. Overall sales are 16% higher per capita on this side of the Columbia than the other. This speaks to product availability and the final price to consumers being key driving factors in consumer spending patterns, which create much of the border effect.”

The analysis also stated, “Both Oregon and Washington see a clear impact in higher recreational marijuana sales along the Idaho border than can be explained by local socio-economic factors. Now, this does not mean that all of those larger sales are necessarily to Idahoans. It could be other customers may be traveling from further away or from elsewhere within our state who are traveling through.

All told, recreational marijuana sales continue to increase and are expected to do so in the decade ahead. Our office’s forecast calls for sales to grow approximately 80% over this time period as incomes grow, the state’s population increases, and marijuana becomes more socially acceptable and usage rates rise.”

Vape Sales Drop

According to BDS Analytics data cited by Canaccord Genuity in its December report, Oregon’s vape sales declined by 12% year-over-year, while other categories experienced growth. Flower sales rose to 45% versus 39% last year. Pre-rolls grew from 7% to 9% YOY and non-vape concentrates grew from 9% to 11% YOY.


William SumnerDecember 12, 2018
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Earlier this week, the cannabis technology platform LeafLink released its 2018 Wholesale Cannabis Pricing Guide and the company learned that Alaska and Maryland are the two most expensive states to buy legal cannabis, followed by Nevada and California.

Examining the wholesale landscape of some of the most mature cannabis markets in the United States, the guide looks at the average wholesale price of cannabis in eight states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The product types covered by the report include concentrates, cartridges, edibles, flower, and pre-rolls.

Although the report does not dive into the specifics of why one state is more expensive than another, the authors speculate that the Alaska and Maryland’s high prices are due to the states having a low number of cannabis cultivators. In the two states where cannabis is cheapest, Washington and Oregon, there is currently a glut of cannabis cultivators; leading to low prices and oversupply.

“As the standard wholesale marketplace for the industry’s leading brands, we are able to provide crucial market information to cannabis retailers and brands, which will help inform their plans for 2019,” said LeafLink Co-Founder and CEO Ryan G. Smith in a statement. “As more states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Michigan continue to establish wholesale operations, we will be able to provide a larger scope of market activity to further empower the LeafLink community, as well as the industry at large.”

Nationwide, the average price for a pound of cannabis flower is $2,124 per pound, while a gram of pre-rolls costs around $5.66 per gram. The average price for cannabis concentrates costs approximately $26.07 per gram and cartridges are priced at around $39.55 per gram. Edible cannabis products, on average, cost around $0.20 per milligram.

When taken on a state-by-state level, cannabis prices start to vary. With regards to cannabis consumer preferences, the report found that consumers prefer products in the lowest 25% price range. The exception to this was pre-rolls. On average, consumers preferred pre-roll products in the 25%-49.99% price range.

The report also examined the relationship between pricing and discounted sales. On average, approximately 16% of the products sold through LeafLink’s platform have a discounted price. Across all eight states examined, discounted products generated 3% more sales than regularly priced products.

The discount effect is magnified when combined with larger sales campaigns. During the last year, LeafLink ran two sales promotions, one in the month leading up to 4/20 (dubbed 3/20) and one in July called 7/10; which is a considered an industry-wide “holiday” for concentrates.

When combined with those larger sales campaigns, discounted products generated 37% more sales on 3/20 and 38% more sales on 7/10. This seems to suggest that cannabis retailers stand to significantly boost their sales numbers by combining sales promotions with discounted cannabis products.


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