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Pot sales continue soaring to new heights

Customers check out the selection at High End Market Place in downtown Vancouver.
Customers check out the selection at High End Market Place in downtown Vancouver.

Washington’s recreational marijuana market obliterated yet another sales record last week.

On Friday, June 19, stores across the state sold $2,069,130 worth of marijuana products, according to figures released Tuesday morning by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. It’s the first time Washington’s pot shops have eclipsed the $2 million mark for a single day’s sales.

The sum far surpassed the previous record of $1,929,023 set on June 12. The ever-skyrocketing sales figures also mean pot shops raised the bar again for a single day’s worth of tax revenue.

Altogether, the stores generated $517,282 in excise taxes on Friday. It was the first time that excise tax revenue has passed the $500,000 mark for a single day.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The cash flow has continued to swell month after month since stores opened last July.

Back then, average daily sales were $108,657 across the state. Today, they’ve climbed to more than $1.36 million a day, and the latest record suggests they’ll continue to increase. June sales figures for individual stores won’t be available until next month.

Heading into July, the owners of Clark County’s seven pot shops are bracing for an even bigger month. Marijuana possession becomes legal in Oregon on July 1, but Oregon’s pot shops won’t open until the fall of 2016.

Oregon lawmakers may allow medical dispensaries to temporarily sell recreational marijuana until the stores open. But in the meantime, customers are expected to continue crossing the border to Clark County pot shops.

Vancouver’s two biggest stores, Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam, are also preparing to celebrate their one-year anniversaries. Add the upcoming Fourth of July weekend to the mix, and you have all the ingredients for massive local marijuana sales in July.

It’s been a great year for Vancouver’s two biggest pot shops, which also happen to rank among the highest grossing stores in the state. New Vansterdam has led all of Washington’s stores in sales since last July, and Main Street has been the state’s top seller for the past three months.

Ramsey Hamide, Main Street’s owner, said sales have continued to grow at his store through the first three weeks of June. He expects to lead the pack again this month, and he’s anticipating another record setting sales day on July 3, also a Friday.

“As prices have come down and selection has gone up, we’ve continued to see more and more foot traffic in the store,” Hamide said in a prepared statement. “I think the trend will continue system-wide in the I-502 market, and we’ll likely see records continue to break several times a month through the summer.”

Fridays have consistently been the best shopping days for marijuana throughout the state. Each time a new record is broken, it happens on a Friday.

Since Washington’s first stores opened, the industry has posted more than $243 million in sales, and it’s raised nearly $61 million in excise taxes.

– Justin Runquist