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Marijuana industry report for May: Retailers keep growing, producers hold steady

Marijuana retailers in Spokane County continued their upward climb, with a 20 percent increase in sales last month over a successful April despite no new shops reporting sales.

From plant to consumer, the legal pot industry in Spokane County was responsible for about $6 million in revenue in May, as producers reported a modest increase in sales and producers remained steady. Numbers released by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board show the fledgling legal marijuana market shows no signs of slowing down as the state approaches the one year anniversary of legal sales.

Greenlight on Trent Avenue continued its dominance of the local retail market, setting a new monthly record in sales previously held by inaugural store Spokane Green Leaf. Greenlight reported $602,000 in sales last month, the first store to eclipse the $600K mark in sales for a month. That was good enough for sixth among the state's 145 stores reporting sales in May.

A chart of legal marijuana sales in Spokane County

Producers continued to post far less in revenue than their counterparts in the packaging and sales portions of the supply chain. Outdoor growers likely won't be harvesting until fall, meaning that the majority of those producers reporting sales are doing so from indoor operations. D & L Enterprises, a Tier 3 operation that allows up to 30,000 square feet of plant canopy, had the most sales among Spokane County producers with $16,665 in May, according to Liquor and Cannabis Board figures.

Sales reported by marijuana producers in Spokane County

Marijuana processors reported lower revenues in May than in April. Fifty processors reported sales last month, with Grow Op Farms continuing its dominance of the market, though its revenues were far less than the nearly $1 million that filled the tills in April.

Revenue reported by marijuana processors in Spokane County

Spokane County legal pot sales reach $3.2 million in April

This blog post has been updated with April sales numbers from Spokane County marijuana producers and processors. 

In a month that saw state legislators vote to blend medical and recreational marijuana laws, Spokane County retailers reported sales of more than $3 million, the largest monthly total since sales began last summer.

The 4/20 effect was noticeable for state recreational marijuana retailers, with the weekend of April 20th seeing the highest sales to date, according to statistics from the Washington Liquor Control Board (which will be renamed the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board under new state laws governing recreational and medical pot sales). State shops set a record on Friday, April 17, selling $1.76 million worth of legal marijuana.

But the counterculture holiday wasn't the game-changing day for recreational sales some made it out to be - this past Friday, shops sold $1.83 million worth of weed. If anything, the statistics show weekends are more important to cannabis users than pre-ordained celebrations.

In Spokane County, retailer Greenlight continued its pace of outselling all other shops authorized under Initiative-502, reaching a half million dollars in sales for the first time since opening in September.

April marijuana sales in Spokane County

Greenlight's sales total of $517,032 fell just shy of Spokane Green Leaf's record haul of $524,579 in August. Only three stores were selling legal marijuana when Green Leaf posted that total; Greenlight is competing against 13 other stores. If Greenlight's trend continues, it will break that record in May.

No new stores reported sales in April, but overall revenues still saw an increase of about 21 percent over March. 

Statewide, producers have been posting sales numbers much lower than retailers after concerns surfaced in January about a glut of product in the market. In Spokane County, growers struggled to post $31,762 in sales last month. Producers posted their highest sales total in November, with roughly $1.9 million sold statewide. 

Marijuana producers total sales in April

Processing continues to be the most popular part of the marijuana industry in Spokane County, based on the number of businesses reporting sales figures to the Washington Liquor Control Board. Thirty-nine processing businesses in Spokane County reported total sales of $2.2 million in April, with Grow Op Farms in Spokane Valley accounting for more than a quarter of those numbers at almost $950,000 in sales.

Spokane County marijuana processor sales totals

Legal marijuana sales see huge March bump in Spokane County

Spokane County legal marijuana sales continued their climb in March, as two new stores reported revenue and overall sales rose 30 percent over February totals. 

Fourteen shops reported $2.6 million in sales during the month of March, up from just a little over $2 million in February, according to figures reported by the Washington State Liquor Control Board on Tuesday. Greenlight, a shop that opened in September on Trent Avenue, once again led all area stores in sales, reporting revenues of $431,071 in March.

Two shops, Royal's Cannabis on Division Street and Smokane in East Central Spokane, opened in March and began reporting sales.

Here is a graph showing each shop's sales from July of last year, when the state first authorized legal sales, through last month's revenue figures:

Source: Washington State Liquor Control Board

This month saw the first reported armed robbery of a Spokane area marijuana store, as detectives obtained surveillance video of a masked man demanding cash at knifepoint at Spokane Green Leaf, the first retail store in Spokane to open its doors. In Olympia, lawmakers are debating how to distribute excise taxes collected from recreational marijuana sales. To date, retailers have collected more than $16.8 million in taxes statewide, according to the Liquor Control Board. That money is pooled at the state level for earmarked purposes, though local lawmakers have said they'd like to see portions of the money collected in taxes remaining in the counties where the sales took place.

‘Green Friday’ sales flat, Green Leaf leads local sellers last month

"Green Friday" may have prompted a surge of sales at local marijuana retailers, but more revenue was reported the day before Thanksgiving and earnings modestly increased from prior Friday rushes in November, according to numbers reported by the state's Liquor Control Board.

Statewide, legal pot shops made $157,686 on Friday, down significantly from Wednesday's total of more than $251,000. It appears shoppers wanted to stock up for the long holiday weekend, rather than brave the retail lines on America's largest shopping day of the season.

Still, most local store owners said they opened with lines out the door Friday, and the Liquor Control Board only reports total sales numbers, not how much marijuana was sold. Some retailers were offering strands at up to 20 percent off all weekend.

The state Liquor Control Board also released this week the total sales numbers for Spokane County's eight retailers in November. The first shop to open, Spokane Green Leaf, led the way with $236,900 in sales last month. Up-and-comer Cannabis & Glass, which was not open when the month began, sold $13,355 worth of marijuana in November. That was good enough to beat seven other shops statewide that reported sales last month, but was the least among the county's eight operating businesses.

A total of 74 marijuana businesses reported sales to the state last month. Source: Washington State Liquor Control Board.

In total, Spokane County's pot shops earned more than $1 million in sales, roughly 1/8 of the revenue statewide. Sales activity generated more than $252,000 in excise tax revenue for the state. Currently, tax funds from marijuana sales are pooled and spent throughout the state, a process some lawmakers and shop owners would like to see changed to keep tax money closer to home.

Saturday marks two years since the voter-approved Initiative-502 became law, kickstarting the legal marijuana industry in Washington state. Look for an overview of the nascent industry in this weekend's Spokesman-Review.

Local pot shops set plans for ‘Green Friday’

Owners of local marijuana shops hope to cash in on the biggest retail sales day of the year, an event many of the stores are calling "Green Friday."

Though state law dictates when the area's nine retail shops may open their doors (8 a.m.) and how much they can charge for marijuana (stores can't sell pot for less than they paid to acquire it from producers/processors), area store owners say they plan to extend their hours and offer discounts on items including edibles and J.R.R. Tolkein-inspired paraphernalia.

"If you buy a full ounce, we'll give you a free 15-inch Gandalf pipe," said Cristy Aranguiz, lead "budtender" at Cannabis & Glass, a shop that opened earlier this month in north Spokane. The glassware resembles the long pipe smoked by the wizard in Tolkein's classic Lord of the Rings series.

Check out this map of stores, their business hours for Friday and a brief description of the deals they plan to offer customers, and read more about the shops' specific plans inside the blog.

April Calendar of Antiques and Vintage Goods Sales

Thanks again to Brian Gallagher of Junk Nation Review for supplying this month's calendar of sales and junkin' opportunities. Check out Junk Nation Review!

Custer's 38th Annual
Spring Antique & Collectors Sale

April 26th    4pm - 9pm $6 admission good all weekend 12 and under free
April 27th    10am - 6pm
April 28th    10am - 4pm
Spokane Fair & Expo Center
404 N. Havana St. Spokane Valley, WA 99202

J & M Monroe Antique Show & Sale
April 6th 10am - 5pm $5 admission
April 7th 11am - 4pm $5 admission
Evergreen State Fairgrounds
14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe

Junk Drunk
April 13th 9am - 5pm $4 admission good both days
April 14th 9am - 4pm
N.E. Washington Fairgrounds Ag-Trade Center
411 W Astor Colville, WA 99114

The Vintage Faire
April 27th 9am - 4pm $5 admission
Okanogan County Fairgrounds
175 Rodeo Trail Rd Okanogan, WA 98840

Past Blessing Farm's Second Annual 'Spring Has Sprung' Sale
April 12th 9am - 4pm
April 13th 9am - 4pm
8521 N. Orchard Prairie
Spokane, Washington

2nd Saturdayz
April 13th 9am - 4pm
$5 entrance
The Old Post Office
1102 A Street Tacoma, WA

The Prairie Sisters Party
April 6th 10am to 4pm
$5 admission / children under 10 are free
The Metra Park, Billings, MT

The Island Chicks Spring Vintage Market
April 27th 9am - 4pm
$5 Admission / $3 with a food item
The Port of Anacortes
100 Commercial Ave, Anacortes, WA 98221

March Treasure Hunting Calendar

Note: Good news! Brian Gallagher, of Junk Nation Review, will be providing a monthly Treasure Hunting calendar of antiques shows and sales around the region. Happy Junkin'!


MARCH 2013
Antique and Collectible Show and Sale calendar provided by Junk Nation Review:

Portland Expo Center Antique Show
March 2 - 9:00am - 6:00pm $7 entrance
March 3 - 10:00am - 5:00pm $7 entrance
Portland Expo Center
2060 North Marine Dr. Portland, OR

Custer's 36th Annual Spring Arts & Crafts Show
March 8th - 10am - 8pm $7 entrance good all weekend
March 9th - 10am - 6pm. $7 entrance good all weekend
March 10th - 10am - 4pm $7 entrance good all weekend
Fair and Expo Center
404 North Havana St, Ste 1
Spokane Valley, WA

Tri-Cities Spring Antique Show with a Twist of Vintage
March 8th - 4pm to 8pm $6 entrance
March 9th - 9am to 5pm $6 entrance
TRAC Center
6600 Burden Blvd Pasco, WA

The Vintage Whites Market
March 9th - 10am- 5pm $5 entrance
Utah State Fairgrounds
155 N 1000 W Salt Lake City UT

2nd Saturdayz
March 9th - 9am - 4pm $5 entrance
The Old Post Office
1102 A Street Tacoma, WA
Salem Collectors & Flea Market

March 17th - 6:30am - 9:30am $6
March 17th - 9:30am - 2:30am $2
Salem Armory
2320 17th ST NE Salem, OR>

Spring Fling Junk Fest
March 23rd - 5pm - 9pm $10 entrance
March 24th - 9am - 4pm $5 entrance
Portland Airport Embassy Suit
7900 NE 82nd Ave Portland, OR>

Groovy Girlfriends - A VERY Vintage Market
March 25th - 10am -4pm Free entrance
Lake City Community Center
12531 28th Ave NE Seattle, WA

Kathleen Cavender sale

    Those of us who love old things, ordinary objects that show the wear of many hands, are the curators. We gather and collect and admire our finds. We bring them out for others to admire. We hold onto our treasures. And when those pieces have a family history, we hold them even tighter.
     But, for many of us, a time comes when letting it all go is the right thing to do.  For Kathleen Cavender, that time has come.

The Art of Collecting

    Most people in Spokane have at least heard of Kathleen Cavender. Her paintings hang in some of the most prestigious collections in the city. Her jazz band, The Kathleen Cavender Band, plays the best rooms around town. She is a mover and shaker in the Spokane arts community. For the last 37 years, she has also been a curator, living in a home filled with family history.

      “My grandparents migrated to Spokane from London in 1912,” Cavender told me. “The story goes they were supposed to come over on the Titanic, but arrived too late.”

     The disappointed - and fortunate - family had to take another ship, accompanying a cargo of the family’s belongings

    “This could just be one of those family stories that has become more and more exaggerated with each telling,” she admitted.  “But it makes for a good story, don’t you think?”
Eventually, Cavender’s grandmother was no longer able to hold onto the family heirlooms and they were offered up to the rest of the family.

    “When my grandmother was moved to a nursing home in the late 70s, my mother said we could go to her apartment and glean what belongings she had left behind,” she said.

Kathleen wasn’t able to go until after everyone else had had their pick.  

    “I was in a panic, but when I arrived, I found that my brother and sisters took only the practical things: the Corningware dishes, the microwave, flatware and bedding. All of my grandmother’s precious antiques were there waiting for me. “

    When Cavender and her husband purchased a turn-of-the-century house in the Canon Hill Addition neighborhood in the late 1980s, her grandmother’s things fit right in.

     “The house dictated its need for antiques and we certainly had them,” she said. “Since that time, we have added and added and added to the collection. “

    The beautifully restored house is filled with family mementoes and all the things the couple gathered. But things change. Cavender is looking forward to a future that doesn’t include a big house full of big pieces. So, surprising even herself, she has decided to sell most of that collection.

     This Saturday, Cavender is holding the first of a series of sales. If you are still hunting and gathering to fill your nest, this is the perfect opportunity.  Until, that is, it’s your turn to let it all go.

    “Hunting for treasures has been a wonderful hobby for many years,” she told me. “But how many Ansonia clocks does one person need?”

Saturday’s sale will include at least one of those clocks.

     “The memories will warm the corners of my heart for a very long time,” Cavender added. “But I am ready for a change.”



What: Kathleen Cavender sale
When: Saturday, June 26 (Saturday Only. No early sales.)
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where:  1717 West 10th