Idahoans are supporting Oregon’s economy in a major way: It’s where they’re buying marijuana, because it’s legal there but not here.
“In things you cannot make up, Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420% the statewide average,” wrote Josh Lehner in a report released Friday by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.
It’s not reefer madness — the analysis also showed stronger sales for Washington state along its border with Idaho in 2019 than along its borders with Oregon or Canada.
That’s because of the “border effect,” which happens when two neighboring jurisdictions set different rules for the same product, which may result in residents traveling to take advantage of relaxed restrictions. The border effect is particularly common among “vice industries,” Lehner wrote.
Idaho borders three states — Oregon, Washington, Nevada — that have legalized recreational marijuana sales, but not even medical marijuana is legal in the Gem State. Utah and Montana have medical marijuana sales, while Wyoming bans all cannabis.
About 75% of Oregon sales and more like 35% of Washington sales in counties along the Idaho border were caused by the border effect itself, rather than local socio-economic conditions such as income, number of retailers and tax rates, according to the report. [Read more at Tri-City Herald]