Washington’s recreational marijuana sales dropped for the first time in July. But despite the trend, it was the most lucrative month yet for Clark County’s pot shops.
Overall, Washington’s marijuana producers, processors and retailers sold more than $45.4 million worth of marijuana last month, according to information released Tuesday by the newly named Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Though many in the industry expected July would be the biggest sales month so far, revenue fell about $554,000 short of the $46 million high water mark from June.
For anyone not keeping a close eye on the industry, the shift may look like an indication that sales are beginning to plateau. But that isn’t the case, said Brian Yauger, the president of Tetratrak, a marijuana industry data crunching firm.
Sales revenue for producers and processors actually increased more than $1 million from June to July, Yauger notes. He attributes that trend to a recent change in the state’s marijuana tax structure that erased the 25 percent excise tax for producers and processors.
“It actually has allowed the retailers to drop their prices,” Yauger said. “I think the dip (in revenue) comes from a dip in prices. It actually allows the producer/processors to sell it cheaper.”
Industrywide, average daily sales figures dropped from nearly $1.5 million in June to slightly more than $1.39 million last month. Altogether, Washington’s 163 pot shops accounted for about $31.3 million worth of the total sales for July, roughly $1.9 million less than they raked in a month earlier.
But sales haven’t dropped off for stores, Yauger said. They’re merely selling their products at lower prices.
“Prior to last month, retailers were marking up prices on average about 2.7 times,” he said. “We’re starting to see prices stabilizing.”
Despite the trend, the month actually ended with a new record sales day, as the industry moved more than $3 million worth of marijuana products Friday. It was the first time the market has eclipsed the $3 million mark for a single day, and it’s upwards of $480,000 more than the previous single-day sales record from June 26.
Clark County’s seven pot shops combined for more than $4.7 million in sales last month, accounting for 15 percent of all marijuana retail revenue for the state.
Five of those seven stores also posted their best sales figures to date in July. And Vancouver’s Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam, the two highest grossing pot shops in Washington, led the pack yet again.
Main Street Marijuana outpaced all other stores in Washington for the fifth consecutive month. This time, the store made more than $2.06 million worth of sales, shattering its previous sales record of $1.76 million in June.
Since opening last summer, Main Street Marijuana has sold more than $11.6 million worth of cannabis products. The store ranks second in the state for gross sales, sliding in behind New Vansterdam, which has done about $12 million in sales for the same time frame.
After a slight drop from April to May, New Vansterdam’s sales figures have continued a strong growth trend. In July, the store brought in a personal best of nearly $1.33 million, up about $35,000 from June. The store finished the month third in the state in sales, falling just behind Uncle Ike’s, a Seattle pot shop.