Legal marijuana sales in Whatcom County near $1 million a month

In July 2015, a year after the first recreational marijuana stores opened in Washington state, the nine retail stores around Whatcom County made $936,145 in taxable sales.

Taxable sales include sales on all marijuana products, but not pipes and other paraphernalia that is not subject to state excise tax. Taxable sales and other data is published on the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s website.

2020 Solutions led the county in sales. The shop sold $228,609 worth of taxable marijuana products at its original location at 2018 Iron St., and $174,103 at its second location at 5655 Guide Meridian. The next highest seller was Green Leaf, at 4220 Guide Meridian, which sold $191,819 worth of marijuana.

2020 Solutions is the only company in the county to have multiple stores. Aaron Nelson, vice president of operations for 2020 solutions said the company hopes to open more stores across the state and beyond.

“We have a couple locations we are currently looking at,” he said. “We will expand nationwide as it becomes legal across states.”

Nelson and others in the industry are increasingly seeing black market customers switch to buying their weed on the legal market as prices come down.

“In the beginning, most of our customers were folks with disposable incomes and skewed older,” said Justin West, owner of Cascade Herb Company, at 1240 E. Maple St.

When younger people came in to shop at Cascade Herb Company in its early days, they typically just looked around and didn’t buy anything, West said. That’s changed and the store now has younger customers, West said.

Statewide, marijuana retailers sell more than $1.5 million daily. During the industry’s first fiscal year, it generated more than $64 million in tax revenue, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Control Board.

Oliver Lazenby, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or olazenby@bbjtoday.com

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