Inside the list: these 5 companies dominated Oregon's Cannabis Industry in 2022
The 23 Oregon firms that responded to our survey for the list of cannabis- and hemp-related businesses this year employed 1,788 workers across the state, a 21.4% increase from last year. The companies employed a total of 3,220, so 56% of their staff was based locally.
Just eight of them disclosed 2021 revenue for a combined total of $162.7 million or $20.3 million on average — not bad for an industry that's only been legal for seven years.
The state's most recent data, however, indicate 2022 will see the first decline in cannabis sales since legalization and may fall short of $1 billion, after passing $1.2 billion last year. Despite consumer inflation almost everywhere else, record-low prices for pot prompted a significantly smaller harvest from growers.
Amid these economic swings and industry consolidation, here's a look at the five biggest cannabis companies in Oregon.
5. Oregrown Industries, Bend
This Central Oregon company reported 87 employees, all in Oregon, and specializes in indoor flower, extracts, branded consumer goods and a quality customer experience via its own flagship retail stores in Portland, Bend and Cannon Beach.
4. Dutchie, Bend
This company, also out of Bend, licenses an online marijuana ordering platform that connects consumers locally to thousands of cannabis dispensaries across the country. It reported 718 employees total and 129 in Oregon but laid off 8% of its workforce in June. In October 2021, the firm announced it had raised $350 million in new funding and boosted its valuation to to $3.75 billion, but then just in the past few weeks, drama unfolded at the company when co-founders Ross and Zach Lipson sued Dutchie's board for ousting them.
3. Wyld, Clackamas
This company has dominated Oregon cannabis edibles, with its ubiquitous gummies, infusing them with real-fruit ingredients and flavors that "embody Pacific Northwest culture." It reported 209 employees in Oregon and 798 worldwide. Wyld recently entered into the massive new cannabis market of Illinois, and while it didn't report revenues this year, it had $26.9 million in 2019, ranking it No. 3 on the PBJ's list of fastest-growing companies in 2020 and No. 2 in 2019. Its founder and CEO, Aaron Morris, gave the PBJ an interview in May on how Wyld became the top cannabis edible in the nation.
2. Chalice Brands Ltd., Portland
With 16 stores in Portland and the Willamette Valley and about 300 employees in Oregon, this vertically integrated cannabis producer and retailer has been involved in many acquisitions as the industry consolidated and changed its name from Golden Leaf Holdings in May of 2021 when it acquired the Homegrown chain. Chalice racked up $26 million in 2021 revenue as it continued to trade on the Canadian stock market, but its CEO, Jeff Yapp, described a "brutal" slowdown in cannabis business in July and was pessimistic about federal cannabis legalization this October.
1. Nectar Markets LLC, Portland
Another cannabis company vertically integrated in both production and retail sales, Nectar reported 640 employees, all of them in Oregon at 39 locations. It grew revenue 65.8% to $77.5 million last year, landing at No. 49 on this year's fastest-growing companies list. An even greater distinction, Nectar's Southeast Stark store in Portland was declared the happiest retail location in the world by a Finnish research company in May. Perhaps happy customers have pushed this company to the top of our list.