PBJ: Why almost no one is making a profit in Oregon cannabis 

Posted on by Phil Querin

By Pete Danko  – Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal – Aug 1, 2018, 4:51pm PDT Updated Aug 1, 2018, 4:56pm

Nobody is making any money.

That might not be literally true, but in interviews with a wide range of people in the Oregon cannabis industry recently, it was a phrase heard over and over again.

It’s not just that there are mountains of weed in the state and more retails shops (572) than Starbucks and McDonald’s stores combined (569). Oversupply and overcapacity are big problems, but they’re only part of the pain picture for Oregon cannabis circa 2018.

Businesses are weighed down by federal laws and regulations that impose burdens unheard of outside cannabis. They struggle to find the most basic of banking services, are left to deal overwhelmingly in cash and can’t access affordable credit. On top of that, a tax provision aimed at drug dealers dramatically increases their federal tax bite, especially for retailers.

These longstanding issues are magnified now by the glut of product and players, not all of whom came into this capitalistic cauldron with tremendous business chops or deep pockets.

Cannabis sales statewide climbed to a record $55 million in June, but the terrain is more treacherous than ever. [MORE: Go to link here.]

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