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Pot sales reach new record high in June

The Herbery on St Johns Boulevard, one of Vancouver's newest pot shops.
The Herbery on St Johns Boulevard, one of Vancouver’s newest pot shops.

Recreational marijuana continues to prove an ever hotter commodity in Washington as the latest data dump from the state shows sales yet again breaking records in June.

Friday, June 26, was the best sales day yet for the industry, as stores moved $2,503,507 worth of product off their shelves, according to the Washington State Liquor Control Board. And with one sales day left for the month, the industry has already done more than $43.4 million in sales, surpassing the previous record of $41.5 million for May.

The record-breaking Friday also marked just the third time the industry has done more than $2 million in sales in one day. Also worth noting: All three of those days fell in the span of only eight days.

Fridays have consistently been the best sales day of the week for pot shops. The previous record of $2.09 million was set on Friday, June 19 (note: the state adjusted that figure up since releasing the last report). Surprisingly, the industry came close to breaking that record again on June 22, putting up more than $2.03 million in sales.

Daily averages for sales have climbed to upwards of $1.43 million in June, dwarfing the average daily sales from last July: $108,657. So far, the state reports the industry has sold more than $246.7 million worth of product, generating nearly $61.7 million in tax revenue.

Throughout the industry, anticipation couldn’t be higher for the biggest sales figures yet in July. Possession becomes legal on Wednesday for adults 21 and older in Oregon, just three days before the Fourth of July.

Also that day, a new pot excise tax structure goes into effect for Washington. Many in the industry have high hopes that it’ll eventually lead to lower prices at pot shops.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s two biggest stores — Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam — are preparing to celebrate their one-year anniversaries next week. The first year in business has been excellent for the two stores, as New Vansterdam has been the highest grossing pot shop in the state since sales went live last July and Main Street has come out as the top selling store in Washington for the past three months.

Main Street’s owner Ramsey Hamide expects to find his store at the top of the list again for June. Sales figures for individual stores aren’t available yet.

With a huge customer base coming across the Columbia River to buy marijuana at Clark County pot shops, the near future looks bright for Vancouver’s six stores. Oregon stores aren’t set to open until the fall of 2016.

Lawmakers are trying to fill that gap, though. A bill working its way through the Oregon Legislature proposes allowing medical dispensaries to temporarily sell recreational marijuana starting in October. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.

- Justin Runquist