The answer to our beginning of year question on whether or not the thawing of trade relations between Cuba and the U.S. could mean demand for Cuban cigars outstripping demand for legalized marijuana is clear. It’s not close. Demand for legalized pot wins hands down.
This year has seen plenty of engagement around the topic of legalized marijuana on either side of the 49th Parallel. Cuban stogies perhaps not so much. Even if the embargo is lifted, best sales case scenario is that the Cuban cigar makers would expect to capture 25-30% of the U.S. cigar business. They predict selling between 70 million and 90 million cigars annually. Now when it comes to marijuana demand in relation to legalized activity in states closest to our borders, it’s noted that Washington State’s reported collection of $70 million of taxes on $257 million in sales in the first year of legalized marijuana sales through July exceeded expectations.
The legalized recreational sale of weed in Oregon beginning in October heralds a new era of bullish pot demand forecasts in the Pacific Northwest. Budding entrepreneurs report that demand in Oregon will far outstrip the supply. “There won’t be enough weed in Oregon for everyone who wants to buy it so they will still need to come to Washington.” We’re also told that for another year, concentrated marijuana for vaporizers and “edibles” can only be found legally in Washington.
Truth be known, we recognize that the world is focused on issues far more significant than Cuban cigars or marijuana sales. Still, to satisfy discerning readers’ demand for answers to those beginning-of-the year Harderblog questions, watch for more answers in follow-up posts soon. For now, enhanced lumber market activity is keeping our minds sharp; focused on wood, not weed.