Marijuana Sales Are At $278 Million So Far This Year
Washington state’s marijuana market has become so large that Washington weed almost beat out alcohol sales. Marijuana sales were over the $200 million mark in the second quarter of 2016 just $37 million short of the revenue generated from alcohol sales, from the Tacoma News Tribune.
Washington’s marijuana sales are at $212 million, compared to alcohol sales during the same period, which were $249 million. The state ended recreational sales through medical dispensaries in July, making all sales go through licensed recreational pot shops. Recreational sales rose to $66.6 million in the third quarter and brought 2016’s total sales to $278.6 million.
Proponents of the state’s legal cannabis program believe that the regulated marketplace has provided effective competition against black market sales.
“We wouldn’t be selling to that level if we weren’t,” Vicki Christophersen, who heads the Washington CannaBusiness Association, said to the Tribune. The price of marijuana products found in legal shops “are competitive with what we thought the black market was at one point.”
The success of Washington’s legal marijuana system may serve as the impetus for cities and counties to put an end to self-imposed bans on pot sales.
“I think some people were afraid these stores would open and there’d be these long-haired people hanging around in vans,” said Jim Doherty, a legal consultant with Municipal Research and Services Center. “People have gotten used to the idea that these look like retail stores now.”