Washington Hits First One Million Dollar Day For Cannabis Sales


The State of Washington voted to legalize recreational cannabis during the 2012 Election. The successful initiative allowed possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and legalized production, processing, and distribution of recreational cannabis. The initiative did not provide for home cultivation, making an effective retail commercial system a necessity.

Implementation of commercial marijuana sales has been slower and more deliberate in Washington than in Colorado. Whereas legal recreational sales started in Colorado January 1, 2014, legal recreational sales in Washington didn’t start until July 2014. Despite the slower start in Washington, the recreational industry has been growing steadily. November saw Washington experience it’s first one million dollar sales day for regulated adult cannabis sales. Per MJ Headline News:

On Wednesday, November 26th the state of Washington achieved a milestone the industry has been anticipating for months; the first time single-day recreational cannabis transactions (producer, processor and retail sales) broke the one million dollar barrier. Given this milestone was achieved with 75 retail stores in operation, we can anticipate that this will be a regular occurrence once the majority of the state’s allocated 334 stores are licensed and in operations.

It will be interesting to see what the numbers are once all 334 stores are open and serving customers. It will also be interesting to see how the eventual rollout of cannabis stores in Oregon affects the industry in Washington. Prices for cannabis in Oregon are expected to be significantly lower than they are in Washington, which could result in either lower prices in Washington, or a decrease in business in Washington, especially along the Oregon/Washington border. Regardless of how prices and tax laws shake out, it is clear that Washington is generating new revenue that would otherwise be flowing into an unregulated, untaxed market. 

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.