Two of the first states to broadly legalize marijuana took different approaches to regulation that left Oregon with a vast oversupply and Colorado with a well-balanced market. But in both states prices for bud have plummeted.
A new Oregon report by law enforcement found nearly 70 percent of the legal recreational marijuana grown goes unsold, while an unrelated state-commissioned Colorado study found most growers there are planting less than half of their legal allotment — and still meeting demand.
The Oregon study released by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area — a coalition of local, state and federal agencies — includes the medical and general-use markets and the illegal market, despite gaps in data on illicit marijuana grows.
The Colorado study, released Thursday, focuses on the legal, general-use market, and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder’s business school and a Denver consulting firm had access to state tracking data to produce the first-of-its-kind analysis.
The law enforcement study noted Oregon still has a serious problem with out-of-state trafficking and black market grows — and the top federal law enforcement officer in Oregon demanded more cooperation from state and local officials Thursday in a strident statement. [Read more at Colorado Public Radio]