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Vancouver on top as Washington sets new sales record

Washington’s recreational pot shops broke another record on May 1, netting $1.83 million in daily sales and $459,203 in excise tax.

May 1 seems like an odd day for a new record, unless you consider that it was a Friday — which is often the best weekly shopping day for pot — and that sales are, for the most part, growing across the board at Washington stores.

But Brian Budz, one of the owners of New Vansterdam, has a different theory to the May Day success.

“I think it was a combination of the parties for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and preparation for Cinco de Mayo,” Budz said, adding that several customers at his store told him they were stocking up for the fight.

The prior daily sales record was set on Friday, April 17, 2015 heading into the 420 marijuana holiday weekend. On that day, stores netted $1,764,230 ($1.76 million) in sales, according to the state Liquor Control Board.

Vancouver stores are in many ways leading the pack when it comes to continued growth — with the city’s two biggest stores almost continually among the top three sellers in the state.

New Vansterdam has been the state’s biggest store since recreational shops first opened in July 2014, with $7,979,617 in sales to date, and Main Street Marijuana comes in second with $6,009,859 to date. Seattle’s Uncle Ike’s is third with $5,885,485.

“It’s not really a huge secret that a lot of our success is attributable to our proximity to Portland,” Budz said. “Having a Denver-sized area at our disposal has been an immeasurable benefit for both stores.”

Main Street Marijuana is closing in fast on its Vancouver neighbor’s overall record. Main Street was the top seller in Washington for the second month in a row, netting $1.5 million in sales in April.

“Since the first day that we opened this has been all about our customers,” said Ramsey Hamide, owner of Main Street Marijuana. “We’ve worked from morning to night to bring a wide variety of products at the best prices we possibly can. We’ve still got room for improvement, and we will continue to work hard to live up to our customers’ expectations.”

Second largest in the state was Uncle Ike’s in Seattle, with $1,232,865 in sales in April. And the third largest in Washington was Vancouver’s New Vansterdam, which netted $1,181,182 in April sales.

Clark County’s smaller pot stores also did well, with Vancouver’s The Herbery and High End Market Place, and Battle Ground’s Cannabis Country Store all showing increased sales in April.

The Herbery ranked the state’s 19th biggest store for April sales, followed closely by High End Market Place.

Vancouver’s Fairwinds Manufacturing, which makes tinctures and other edible products, was the city’s top producer/processor in April, netting $137,612 in sales. Battle Ground’s Agrijuana was the second biggest producer/processor in Clark County, with $101,522 in sales in April.

So far, the state is reporting $177 million in marijuana sales since stores first opened in July 2014. That’s also $44 million in excise tax.Month by month statewide sales (rounded up) continue to increase as well. They are:

July 2014: $3.4 million
August 2014: $7.3 million
September 2014: $8.7 million
October 2014: $13 million
November 2014: $16 million
December 2014: $17 million
January 2015: $18.5 million
February 2015: $22.3 million
March 2015: $30 million
April 2015: $35.1 million


Both Budz and Hamide said they expect that trend to continue, with both stores planning for more growth in the coming months.

New Vansterdam is expanding into Portland on May 8 with the opening of its medical dispensary called New Vansterdam Med.

“We’re in good shape,” Budz said. “And there’s going to be some changes at our main store by the end of this summer. We want to make it more user friendly.”

Both stores are also considering adding medical dispensary licences to their Vancouver shops once the licenses become available through the Liquor Control Board, Budz and Hamide said.

For more stats, check out the Liquor Control Board’s Frequently Requested List site, or the independent I502 data site here:

-SueVo (