Washington Marijuana Sales Increase 242% in 2015

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Legal sales of marijuana products totaled more than $709 million in the state of Washington last year, a 242% increase over 2014. By 2020 Washington is expected to post legal sales of recreational marijuana products totaling $2.3 billion, tops among the five states where recreational sales are legal and more than half the projected total of $5.5 billion projected for these states.

The state is projected to receive $636 million in the next five years from its recreational use market, according to the fourth edition of the “State of Legal Marijuana Markets” report compiled by New Frontier and ArcView Market Research. The legal market in 2015 in the United States totaled $5.7 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, an increase of 24%.

Founder and CEO of New Frontier, Giadha DeCarcer, said:

In 2014, adult use sales in Washington accounted for 18.6% of all legal adult use sales in the country. By the end of 2015, Washington’s share of the legal adult use market had risen to nearly half.

ArcView CEO Troy Dayton added:

Washington has remained on the industry’s frontier as one of the first states to legalize both medical and adult use. They have seen some hiccups in getting their framework off the ground, but strong consumer demand is helping the market flourish.

The state is adopting new rules in July that are designed to bridge the gap between the medical use and recreational use markets. These changes include:

  • Medical dispensaries will need a retail license in order to operate.
  • Cannabis sales to medical patients from retail locations will be subject to a 37% retail excise tax.
  • Patient collective gardens will be allowed under more stringent regulations.

These changes are expected to have a major effect on the medical market.