Coastal counties in Oregon seeing high amount of sales for marij - KPTV - FOX 12

Coastal counties in Oregon seeing high amount of sales for marijuana

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CANNON BEACH, OR (KPTV) -

In the first full year of recreational-use marijuana sales regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, some of the most pot was surprisingly sold in a county that doesn't have one of the highest populations. 

Cannon Beach is a small coastal city where people from all over come to relax, visit the iconic Haystack Rock, and apparently buy marijuana. 

"People who are vacationing here from out of town and out of state, they definitely want to come in and are like, oh I can finally buy legal weed and I'm not going to get in trouble and it's not like taboo or whatever," Forest Marsh said. 

Marsh knows the feeling, moving to Cannon Beach from Michigan a little over a year ago. 

"I never got to have like that dispensary experience where you come in and see like candy and it's very user-friendly, like tourist-friendly," Marsh said. 

And it's that high rate of tourism that makes Clatsop County, home to Cannon Beach and other popular destinations like Seaside and Astoria, one of the top counties when it comes to marijuana sales per capita in Oregon last year. 

"Really? I'm actually surprised by that, definitely," beach-goer Jessie Luke said. "Just because there's less people over here."

Clatsop County's estimated population is around 39,000. But according to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the county sold more than $8 million-dollars in products in 2017, supplying to more than $520 million sold statewide. 

If you do the math, that equals around $208 per person in Clatsop County, making it the sixth highest selling county in the state in 2017. 

"At this point, it's still a novelty so a lot of tourists are coming in and never seen legal weed," Andrew Sauls said. "It's exciting and maybe it's completely nerve-racking and they walk through the door and they want the experience." 

Sauls manages the dispensary Five Zero Trees in Cannon Beach and Astoria. 

"There's days we will be as busy if not busier than some of our Portland stores," Sauls said. 

He said he's not surprised the northern coast held its own in pot sales. 

"Tourists they're on vacation, so they're already expecting to come down and have some fun and, you know, this is part of the expenses of that vacation," Sauls said. 

Another popular coastal area, Tillamook County, did well too. It came in fifth, with the annual sale per person around $214 dollars. 

Lincoln County did even better, making it third on the list, and equaling around $284 dollars per person.  

Multnomah County, with the biggest population, still brought in some of the highest sales, ranking fourth, about $220 dollars per person. 

But for a coastal city like Cannon that thrives on tourism, Marsh said its no wonder a newer industry in town is thriving there too. 

"Obviously a lot of foot traffic coming through at all these places," Marsh said. 

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