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Ontario rides a green wave as Idaho fuels their marijuana industry

Posted at 4:55 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 18:55:56-05

ONTARIO, Oregon — The Cannabis industry in Oregon peaked at $80 million for the month of August in2019, it was the first full month that a pair of recreational marijuana dispensaries opened in Ontario.

According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the revenue generated has been on a steady rise since Oregon made recreational marijuana legal in 2016.

Numbers released by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis show how much Idaho is contributing to the marijuana industry in Oregon and the numbers are pretty staggering.

The January numbers show that along the Idaho border cannabis sales are 420 percent larger than the state average in Oregon.

The office found that in 2019 around 75 percent of the sales came from Idahoans in the counties who share a border with the gem state.

Another graph shows that since the dispensaries opened in Ontario, Baker County has seen a decline of around 80 percent in their cannabis sales.

The Huntington dispensaries are around a half and hour further from Idaho than Ontario.

These numbers clearly show the impact that Idaho has on the marijuana industry across the border, although it is in a limited sample size, Ontario has only had recreational marijuana dispensaries since last August.

It's not just the businesses who are reaping the benefits, the City of Ontario is also getting their share of the revenue through a three percent sales tax that is standard through out the state of Oregon.

In August and September of last year the city received $90,000 a month from the tax, it's a really small sample size but that would equal out to more than one million dollars for a year.

Ontario leaders tell us they don't view this money as a long-term revenue stream because their industry depends on what Idaho does in the future, marijuana is illegal in both recreational and medically in Idaho.