The headlines are reporting the success as Oregon’s recreational cannabis sales began on October 1st, with sales of more than $11mm booked in the first week. The Oregonian shared the views of several industry insiders who see the potential demise of many of the medical dispensaries.
Donald Morse, the director of the Oregon Cannabis Business council, said there seems to be a widespread expectation of making millions off Oregon’s newly legalized marijuana market. But that gold-rush mentality is part of what’s actually leading medical marijuana dispensaries to close faster than ever.
Some dispensary owners had hoped October 1, the day recreational marijuana sales became legal in Oregon, would be the saving grace for struggling businesses.
“Most people are hanging on until the climate gets better,” said Sam Heywood, co-owner of dispensary Farma, just days before the new rules went into effect. “If it didn’t have that horizon where the regulatory climate is expected to improve, I suspect a lot of people would have given up by now.”
Morse, though, is skeptical recreational pot will change the fortunes of struggling dispensaries. Industry insiders say a mix of factors is causing shops to close: oversaturation, bad locations, a lack of business savvy and the difficulty and added costs of operating cash-only businesses.
Read Molly Harbarger’s “Medical marijuana dispensaries struggle while recreational marijuana takes off”: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2015/10/medical_marijuana_dispensaries.html