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Washington Tops $1.1 Billion in Cannabis Sales at 9-Month Mark

October 24, 2017
Yearly total cannabis sales in Washington hit $1.102 billion through September, just short of Colorado's record $1.118 billion. (RyanJLane/iStock)
Cannabis sales in Washington state continue to grow at a steady rate, with total 2017 sales topping $1.1 billion at the end of September. The state’s nine-month sales total of $1,101,853,539  fell just short of Colorado’s sales from the same time period, which totaled $1,118,207,832.

According to data released by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, over the past five months the state’s cannabis industry has broken a number of its own sales records, with monthly sales now exceeding $130 million.


Data Dive: Cannabis Sales Keep Climbing in Washington and Colorado

Sales in Washington state fluctuate month-to-month, with a bit of a dip in February, but the sales graph generally keeps moving up and to the right.

Chart courtesy of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.


Sales of extracts and solid edibles continue their rise in popularity:

In the above chart, the spike in sales in early 2016 coincided with the increase in retail cannabis licenses. In January 2016 the state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) increased the cap on retail licenses from 334 to 556. The state LCB tracks dollar-amount sales of concentrates, edibles, and topicals, but not flower. The agency does track the production of usable marijuana, which it tallies in pounds, in the chart below.

Chart courtesy of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

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Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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  • NeoNative

    How were liquor sales impacted during this time frame?

  • Joseph Muhammad

    Funny the article does not mention the July 2016 closure of thousands of unlicensed medical dispensaries that preceded the recreational stores but that the state refused to grandfather in to license and forced their closure instead. Huge spikes in audited sales at the rec stores shown in the charts above coincide with those closures.

    • Silverado

      Thousands?? Hundreds?? Would we believe dozens?? Yes it was dozens. And most of those were in and near the big cities. Looking at things now with the huge varieties available and the low pricing (that’s even better than the MMJ Farmer’s Markets) legalization is the best thing that’s ever happened to cannabis in this state. “Huge spikes in audited sales”….bah humbug. We don’t believe that either. The numbers don’t lie. Like I said legalization is the best thing to ever happen to cannabis in this state. YOU need to get out more often…

      • Joseph Muhammad

        It was a few hundred but why are you arguing against what the chart says and against the argument that closure of the few hundred pioneering medical dispensaries in July 2016 explains the jump in sales at the rec stores?

        • Silverado

          Because the charts aren’t saying that. You must have been one of the owners of dispensaries that balked about paying back taxes and going legit and got shut down when you didn’t instead. Is that right? “A few hundred pioneering medical dispensaries”??? NOBODY calls them that!! They were just dispensaries whose existence was due to a mistake by the previous gov Christine Gregoire. And you needed a medical MJ card to get in and do any business.
          So you’re saying this sudden influx of medical patients that have no where to go since 2016 when they closed all those pirate dispensaries and now go to a recreational retail outlet are responsible for this huge increase in sales TODAY??? No way! And so what! Who would know (unless they talked)? So they don’t pay state sales tax – whoopi!!! The prices are still cheaper right now than I ever saw at any dispensary I ever went to including the popular MMJ Farmer’s Markets at various locations around the greater Puget Sound metro area. HUGE varieties of flower and concentrates at low prices – lower now than at any time in the past. Even compared to your friendly neighborhood black market grower (a former occupation that I enjoyed as a 30+ year Master Gardener.) Who’s recently retired. Because I seen him at the recreational retail outlet buying some of that huge variety I already mentioned at prices even he can’t compete with. What’s your gripe here Dude? That those few dozen pirate dispensaries were closed? Or are you moaning about huge variety and low prices??
          Compared with what’s going on where that hat you’re wearing in your picture is from and this place has to look like CANNABIS HEAVEN compared to New York.

          • Joseph Muhammad

            Lol. Caught you already that you are an attack troll who argues with whatever is said. You are wasting a lot of time being stupid on purpose but it’s probably not hard for you to do. Get a life. 😄

          • Silverado

            Attack troll?? Oh that’s a good one Ace!! Can’t make a good argument huh??? So you resort to tall tales and name calling?? I must have a hit a sore spot in my comment. So which “pioneering” pirate dispensary that was shut down by the state were you associated with again?? Ya. That’s what we thought. Crickets…

    • Irwin M Fletcher

      Lots of MMJ stores who opened prior to 2012 were able to get licensed if they were a Priority 1 holder

  • Jewpacabra

    god bless Colorado from sweden

  • Patrick

    Does anyone have experience working with the public WA LCB data used in this article? I received a bunch of data from the LCB but no guidance on how to read the data, what grain it is, and what specific columns mean. Let me know if anyone can help!