Saturday, October 10, 2015

Keep calm ... and toke up!

It was about four in the afternoon when I pulled into the gas station a few days ago.  On the first of this month, if you want me to be precise about the date.  Gawd!  Can I continue with my story now?

So, anyway, I gave my credit card to the gas station attendant.  "Fill up regular, please" I said.  I always, always add that "please" even though filling gas is exactly what the transaction is all about.  He got the pump going and returned the card to me.

"What's with the crowd across the street?" I asked him.

"Oh, it has been there all day long, right from about nine in the morning.  People want their pot" he laughed.

I had forgotten that on October 1st recreational marijuana was becoming legal here in Oregon. But then how does it matter to me when I have never been anywhere near pot and potheads.

"They started lining up well before the store hours" he said with more chuckles.  I suppose he is like me who can be amused very easily.

The amount sold is, ahem, high ;)
Retailers sold more than $11 million of marijuana during Oregon’s first week of legal recreational sales, outpacing the early business done in other states that have legalized pot, according to the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association.
Oregon retailers had sales of $3.5 million by the end of opening day, saidCasey Houlihan, executive director of the association, the Statesman Journal in Salem reported. By contrast, Colorado’s first week of sales reached $5 million. In Washington, sales during the first month hit $2 million.
So, what made Oregon's sales so much higher right from the first day?  The same conditions that every other economic activity require:
 One reason Oregon posted stronger early sales was the existing medical marijuana infrastructure. More than 250 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon have told the state they will sell to recreational customers. By contrast, Colorado had 24 stores on Day 1. Washington had just four, and a year later still has fewer than Oregon.
Oregon also has a robust supply of marijuana that’s grown to support medical marijuana users and the black market. Companies have invested in massive warehouses in Portland to grow the drug indoors, and Southern Oregon has some of the nation’s best conditions for outdoor cultivation of marijuana.
Growers don’t face strict regulations yet, so the supply can more easily flow into retail stores than it did in Washington and Colorado.
I guess the legalization has begun at the right season--it has started cooling down, the daylight hours are getting shorter, and soon the rains will be here.  All the more convenient, perhaps, to stay indoors and toke up.

Recreational pot is one heck of a job-creation opportunity, argues this lawyer who is also the cho-chair of the legislature's committee overseeing the legalization:
 if we get the new industry right, Oregon could become for marijuana what Napa Valley has become for wine. Our economy would be more robust
Hey, if wine can not only be a huge industry but also spawn wine critics, connoisseurs, and sommeliers, then why not for marijuana, eh.  What a strange world in which we live!

I am so happy with the drug that I live for ;)

Caption at the source:
Co-owner Traci Watson helps a customer at Maritime Cafe in Gladstone
on the first day of legalized recreational pot sales in Oregon, October 1, 2015 in Oregon.

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