With headlines cropping up out of Oregon about vast overproduction levels of cannabis, and “experts” warning that the same detrimental disparity between supply and demand could happen again in California, we thought we’d check in at Ground Zero for recreational weed legalization – the great state of Colorado – to see how their pot production went last year.
Let’s just say, in purely scientific terms, much like Cali and Oregon, Colorado grew a fuckton of cannabis in 2017.
In fact, last year 500 tons of cannabis were grown for consumption in Colorado.
Let’s put that into some perspective, if we can.
Have you ever seen the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? The 125 foot tall behemoth is crafted from reinforced concrete and still only weighs slightly more than the amount of weed grown in Colorado last year. Jesus…
The typical unfurnished, single story, conventionally framed American home weighs about 170 tons. So you’d need to stack three of them on a really big triple beam to balance out the amount of cannabis cultivated in Colorado in 2017.
Colorado grew so much cannabis last year that you’d have to search the deepest parts of the world’s oceans to find four of the largest mammals on earth – the Blue Whale – to try to match the weight of the weed grown in Colorado.
When we talk Colorado’s cannabis output from last year, picture 200 full grown rhinos, 250 Ford sedans, 650 cows, or 900 frickin’ polar bears! So many turkey bags…
So yeah, a fuckton is a lot of weed, but getting back to Oregon they too produced about a million pounds of pot last year... so what’s the problem?
The problem is basic economics – Supply vs. Demand.
In Oregon, they grew enough weed for every single adult to receive over 5 ounces - so Supply was high. While that may be a humble stash for a seasoned smoker, you have to remember that the vast majority of adults in Oregon don’t want or need 5 ounces of weed - demand was low.
The initial result of this disparity is the supply/inventory gets backed up. There is too much to sell, not enough buyers. So the next inevitable result is the price gets lowered far enough until it does sell.
This is what is happening in Oregon where one extreme headline read that ounces of flower were being sold for $40 in the state. According to data provided by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, only 108,330 pounds of usable recreational marijuana were sold in 2017 at the retail level in Oregon, leaving 891,670 pounds to be stored for later sales or used to make concentrates and edibles.
That’s an unsustainable ratio.
A similar trend is happening in Colorado where the average price for a pound of weed in 2015 was $2000 but now it has dropped to $1300. By the numbers, Colorado grows just under 4 zips of cannabis for every adult in the state – or 7 tyrannosaurus rexes worth.
Will California follow these trends?
By comparison, in its first year of legalized recreational cannabis, Cali has produced 1.4 ounces of legal weed per adult.
That may sound like a much lower number, but you have to remember that there are nearly as many people in Los Angeles alone as there are in either Colorado or Oregon.
So, any way you look at it, America is growing a fuckton of cannabis and it remains to be seen if demand can keep up.