Spokane County’s legal marijuana industry posted sales revenues approaching $15 million in March, boosted by month-to-month gains by all of the county’s 29 operating retailers.
Producers, processors and retail stores earned $14,974,000 last month, according to numbers reported to the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board. More than half of that, $8.1 million, came from customer sales, which are taxed at 37 percent by the state. That means Spokane County generated $3 million in tax revenue to the state through the sale of legal cannabis for the month.
Retail sales revenue jumped nearly 14 percent from February, when numbers ticked up slightly from a quiet January.
Justin Peterson, chief executive of the two Cinder-branded retail shops on North Division and in Spokane Valley, said the sales figures for March actually showed slower growth than in previous years. Marijuana sales in the county over the past three years hit a low point in January, then generally built momentum to peak sales months in September and October.
“We’re seeing a slower start to the new year, right now. I was kind of bummed by how much slower it was,” Peterson said.
Cinder’s location in Spokane Valley posted a sales total of $486,468 in March, which was down 2 percent from the same month a year ago. At that time, 16 shops had opened their doors in Spokane County. Consumers now have almost twice the number of options countywide for buying their marijuana.
Peterson said he didn’t know if it was market saturation, or concerns prompted by the policy positions of President Donald Trump’s administration, that might explain the slight decline in people walking through his door.
“I would love to know why that is,” he said. “We’re definitely looking at how to improve our business, and how to do things better.”
Processors brought in a little more than $6 million toward Spokane County’s total, with producers posting revenue totals of $800,000. A total of 181 marijuana businesses posted sales in the county last month.