GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A new Oregon bill could allow the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) to refuse new cannabis production licenses for two years. The bill is a response to Oregon's current oversupply of cannabis, which has caused recreational cannabis prices to decrease.
"Prices have plummeted to historic lows," said Michael Johnson, COO of Siskiyou Sungrown. At the current rates, it's costing some cannabis farmers more money to grow and harvest the plant then they can get when the sell it — meaning they are operating at a loss.
"Things have really peaked around 2018. There are over a thousand producers on the recreational side in Oregon," said Johnson. He maintains that his company is still doing well, but a lot of small "Mom and Pop" farmers are really struggling.
"There's a lot of licenses being given up because the farms aren't making it," said Fred Tamayo, the owner of Southern Oregon Cannabis Connection.
Some shops have had to lower the price of cannabis because they get too much supply. The result is a good price for customers, but increasingly poor return for the growers. The new bill now moving through Oregon's legislature was created to help the struggling farmers.
"You know, for a short term fix I think it's not a bad solution," said Johnson
Tamayo, on the other hand, has mixed views on the proposed legislation. "It's negative for me because if I want to expand my business — because I have stores, I am unable to do that," he said.
At the same time, Tamayo understands the struggle because he is also a cannabis farmer. "As they narrow it down and not give more licenses to farms, farmers have a better chance of making it."
Johnson believes that Kate Brown will sign the new legislation if it passes the House, but he said that this should just be a temporary solution. "With all new industries we are going to see these kinds of highs and lows."