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Federal agency won't include pot in annual crop statistics

News Posted Jun 27 2016

Marijuana has been called the most valuable cash crop, and recreational marijuana has given us a chance to put that to the test. Oregon medical marijuana shops have been able to sell recreational marijuana since October, taxing at 25%, which has brought in a total of $14.9 million in tax revenue as of May 30. But you wont see the cannabis industry value anywhere near Oregon's top valued crops, not because it isn't profitable, but because the National Agriculture Statistics Service will not include cannabis stats due to federal policy. The same federal policy also restricts what water supply cannabis growers are able to use. A Pot Policy professor at Oregon State University estimated the 2015 value of Oregon's marijuana industry at nearly $1 billion, but interest is still growing towards the industry, and marijuana's value is only going up. 

The information, however, poses another head-scratcher. Most agricultural statistics published by the ag department come from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, or NASS. Although it's now legal in several states, the feds still classify marijuana as an illegal drug. Dave Losh, Oregon state statistician for NASS, said the agency won't include marijuana in its annual crop statistics due to federal policy.

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