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Marijuana Sales In Washington State Expected To Reach New High

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo

The recreational marijuana industry is Washington state is predicted to hit a new high in the coming weeks.  

“We expect to hit about a billion dollars — with a b — overall, in May of this year,” said Brian Smith with Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.


That billion represents the total amount spent since legal sales began in July 2014.


New Frontier, a "big data" analytics company based in Washington D.C. focused solely on the marijuana industry, predicts that by 2020 people in Washington state will be spending more than $2 billion a year on marijuana products. The big money is in edibles.


“These products, which are largely derivative products, are able to command a higher price point than just a flower. And we’ve seen that at least in the past year or so, both in Colorado and Washington, that their price stability is much greater than the flower prices, which have been trending downward,” said John Kagia with New Frontier.


Washington has 304 licensed stores. More will be opening as medical marijuana businesses get folded into the retail market. As more stores open, the competition is driving down the price on the black market.


“Today the average price per gram  in our stores is under $10 a gram. It’s about $9.77 including all taxes. So, a year ago the price of a gram on the street was about $10.That’s all been driven down now out of competition from state-licensed stores,” said Smith.


While marijuana is proving to be a very lucrative business, it has a ways to go before it catches up to how much consumers in Washington state spend on alcohol. Between March and April of 2015, consumers in Washington state spent more than $65 million on marijuana. For alcohol, the amount was $119 million.


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