The government agency that governs Oregon’s recreational cannabis industry was swamped with nearly 2,000 adult-use business license applications in 2016, way higher than the the 800 to 1,200 it expected.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) received 1,907 total applications last year, the Portland Business Journal reported. Of those applications from retailers, growers and other types of businesses, 762 have already been approved by the department to begin operating.
While adult-use sales in Oregon began in October 2015, with medical retailers allowed to sell limited amounts of cannabis to recreational consumers, a transitional period to the full rec system ended last month. Now all companies operating in the adult-use industry must have OLCC licenses.
That has led to a drop in medical cannabis retailers in the state, from 425 to 307. In December alone, the number of OLCC-licensed rec shops increased from 99 to 260, with likely many more on the way as the OLCC continues to process applications.
The number of business license applications could, however, indicate a period of stiff competition on the way for Oregon marijuana companies.
Many believe the market is already saturated, especially around Portland. That could very well lead directly to mergers, acquisitions and business closures as the Oregon industry matures.