Experts Report Cannabis Sales on Oregon-Idaho Border 420% Higher Than Average

File this one under “a bit too on the nose.” 

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) offered up a statistical nugget in a report last week that would seem like a corny joke if it weren’t true. 

In a study published Friday, OEA economist Josh Lehner wrote that cannabis sales along the Idaho border were “much stronger” than he anticipated.

“Furthermore, and in things you cannot make up, Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420% the statewide average,” wrote Lehner.

Readers of this publication need no explanation—but mainstream news outlets like the Associated Press and CNN, both of which covered the anomaly, were there to provide one. 

“The number 420 is a colloquial term referencing marijuana or cannabis consumption,” deadpanned the AP.

The Border Effect

Beyond the amusing tidbit, the OEA, which provides forecasts for legislators and policymakers in Oregon, detailed some other intriguing findings in the study.

Lehner’s report focused on “border effects,” which he wrote “can arise when neighboring jurisdictions have different rules, regulations or tax rates for the same industry or product.” 

Idaho, where recreational marijuana remains illegal, invites such analysis given that it borders Washington and Oregon, where pot is legal.


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