Vancouver pot shops struggle after Oregon legalization


MARIJUANA NEWS: SW Washington recreational stores take sales hit in October; energy utilities strained by indoor grow operations; OSU seeks federal funding for hemp testing.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

SW Washington recreational marijuana stores took a big hit to their earnings in October after Oregon launched sales.

The six shops in Vancouver saw their combined sales decrease by about $2 million last month. 

Shon-Lueiss Harris, public relations and marketing consultant for New Vansterdam, said the store has noticed slower traffic through the door.

“Typically, we’d get anywhere from 100 to 150 people an hour at our store,” said Harris. “I think our customers are exploring their options right now, which has definitely changed our revenue.” 

(SOURCE: OPB)

At the end of September, Adam Hamide of Main Street Marijuana was emphatic that the Vancouver market would not contract after losing its Portland customer-base: “There will still be plenty to split up. No one is going out of business.” We’ll see if he was right in the coming months.

RELATED NEWS: 5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

Throughout the Northwest, energy utilities are being strained by indoor grow operations.

Since July 1, the utility has had “seven incidents” in Oregon where homegrown cannabis has overloaded local equipment, causing outages. After investigating, Pacific Power billed the farmers an average of $5,000 each “for the outsized load,” says a company statement.

“What most people don’t realize is that growing marijuana is a very intense power use,” said Roger Blank, Pacific Power’s director of safety, in the statement. “From a power use standpoint, even a small operation of four plants with standard lights is like hooking up 29 refrigerators that run 24/7.”

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

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Finally, Oregon State University is seeking federal funding for hemp testing.

The growing and distribution of industrial hemp is regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act, which precludes faculty from performing research that involves the possession or distribution of hemp — unless such research is in compliance with already established federal guidelines.

Jay Noller, head of the school’s crop and soil science department, said the university hopes to secure approval from the DEA and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to begin approved industrial hemp research trials for the 2016 growing season. The research likely would focus on learning more about the crop’s productivity, yield and growing conditions in western Oregon.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

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