The Columbian / Associated Press

S.W. Washington marijuana sales suffer as Oregon stores open

Recreational marijuana sales in Washington have increased each month since legalization took effect last year.

According to Washington’s Liquor Control Board, sales topped $61 million in October, up from $59.6 million in September.

Two of the three best-selling stores in the state are in Vancouver.

Both Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam have relied heavily on Portland customers, where recreational pot was illegal until last month.

Then Oregon sales started Oct. 1, and combined revenue at Vancouver’s six shops plummeted by nearly $2 million in a single month.

Shon-Lueiss Harris, public relations and marketing consultant for New Vansterdam, said the store has noticed slower traffic through the door.

“Typically, we’d get anywhere from 100 to 150 people an hour at our store,” said Harris. “I think our customers are exploring their options right now, which has definitely changed our revenue.”

Washington shops can still rely on products like cannabis edibles and concentrates, which aren’t legal yet in Oregon shops.

But if the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association’s estimate that recreational marijuana sales in Oregon were $11 million in the first week is even close to true, Southwest Washington shops might have a hard time getting back into the Portland market.

Recreational-only marijuana stores are slated to open in Oregon sometime next year.