The Columbian / Associated Press

Washington marijuana sales over $709 million in 2015

Marijuana plants (Columbian files)

TACOMA — Legal cannabis continues to be a growth industry in Washington with sales topping $709 million in 2015, nearly half of all sales in the nation, according to a report from cannabis market researcher ArcView.

The legal cannabis industry had a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent, according to the report.

ArcView estimates 2015 sales nationwide at $5.7 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2014.

“In 2014, adult use sales in Washington accounted for 18.6 percent of all legal adult use sales in the country. By the end of 2015, Washington’s share of the legal adult use market had risen to nearly half,” said Giadha DeCarcer, CEO of cannabis data researcher New Frontier.

Recreational marijuana sales became legal in Washington in July 2014.