By Steve Elliott
A gold-rush mentality after recreational marijuana legalization in Oregon is part of what's leading medical cannabis dispensaries to close faster than ever.
Some medical dispensary owners had hoped that October 1, the day recreational marijuana sales became legal in Oregon, would be a saving grace for struggling businesses, reports Kristyna Wentz-Graff at The Oregonian.
"Most people are hanging on until the climate gets better," said Sam Heywood, co-owner of the Portland dispensary Farma, a few days before recreational sales went into effect. "If it didn't have that horizon where the regulatory climate is expected to improve, I suspect a lot of people would have given up by now."
But Donald Morse, director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, is skeptical cannabis will change the fortunes of struggling dispensaries. According to Morse, there seems to be a widespread expectation of making millions off Oregon's recreational marijuana market, but insiders say factors including over saturation, bad locations, amateurish business practices and the difficulty and expenses of running cash-only businesses are leading shops to close.
Outside companies are increasingly venturing into the recreational marijuana business, as well, putting more pressure on the existing medical dispensaries: competition. "The medical market will go away within a year," predicted Morse.