Refresh Checked Unchecked Menu Search Shopping bag Geolocation Person Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Info Icon CBC Icon CBC Shape CBD Icon CBD Shape CBG Icon CBG Shape THC Icon THC Shape THCV Icon THCV Shape Loading…

Washington Is Overtaking Colorado in Cannabis Sales

February 10, 2017
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The Colorado Department of Revenue just released its end of the year cannabis sales data for 2016. (Actually the state only releases its tax revenue data. We did the math to figure out total sales.) After adding December’s total, the annual sales figure for the Rocky Mountain State came in at $1,269,822,379.31.

Washington state recorded $1,109,088,781.00 in sales for the same year.

Hidden in those annual figures, though, is an interesting trend. Over the past three months, Washington has quietly overtaken Colorado as the nation’s leading legal cannabis state, in terms of monthly sales. Colorado sales in October, November, and December were $114 million, $103 million, and $111 million, respectively. During those same months Washington recorded $115 million, $112 million, and $112 million in sales.


What happened? Medical sales. Prior to July 2016, medical sales in Washington state were not reported to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. On July 1, 2016, all medical sales were moved into state-licensed adult use stores, where they were reported as part of total cannabis sales. Those medical sales had been happening all the while; they just hadn’t been reported to the state prior to July 1.

The graph below shows cannabis sales since that date.

Since the integration of medical with adult-use last summer, Washington state cannabis sales consistently topped $110 million. Prior to that, the state’s cannabis industry had never reached $100 million in sales in a month.

Colorado still has Washington beat on one score. With 5.5 million people–compared to Washington’s 7.3 million–Colorado remains the undisputed champion in per capita sales.

Gage Peake's Bio Image

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.

View Gage Peake's articles

  • Todd Burgess

    How could revenues NOT have been skyrocketing?!?!
    The Washington Vampire State shut down the co-operative medical marijuana sites and instituted a retail only sales approach. If you wish to be a med. patient, you give away an important right (gun ownership) to enter a database/tracking system, for the express purpose of reducing the egregious tax that they now collect. Grow=25% tax to pay…Production=25% tax…Sales=25% tax. Quite the scam, no?
    The old MMJ system had no sales tax. The State considered no tax to be illegal. The State must get their cut. Stomp out the neighborhood dispensaries and force people to drive 25-50, or even more miles to get their medicine. They reduced the amount of plants you are allowed to grow. Another crock of BS. All the while, buildings that were previously brightly lit and having busselling commerce are now empty, not paying any tax and looking sorely abandoned.
    The State is why, “…we can’t have nice things anymore!”.

    • Moldavian_Bot_Farm

      I own a gun, and never liked the NRA. Their silence on the gun ban for marijuana smokers is a good reason not to like them.

      • Suzanne Ledo

        The NRA is a terrorist organization.