MJ Research Report: New Retail Stores Continue To Fuel Marijuana Sales Growth

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: With less than 7 weeks of recorded sales in 2015, Washington State’s recreational cannabis industry has already inked sales of nearly half of what it recorded in 2014. So far this year combined producer processor sales have totaled nearly $30M compared to just over $65M for 2014. Opening of new retail stores continues to fuel healthy sales growth even with a lingering surplus of cannabis deflating prices.

Here are some other insights from MJ Research’s Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • There are currently 119 approved retail stores in Washington State and as of February 3rd 98 of these retail stores had recorded sales.
  • Combined Producer, Processor and Retailer monthly sales grew at 7.7% from $16.95M in December to $18.26M January. Retail sales had its slowest monthly growth in January at 8.8% from $11.47M to $12.49M. Producer/Processor sales recovered with 5.3% growth from $5.48M to $5.77M after a sharp drop in December following the fall harvest and recorded the second highest Producer/Processor monthly sales in January.
  • On a weekly basis sales continue to grow on a very healthy trend and for the week of February 28th combined Producer, Processor and Retailer sales shattered the week of January 11th’s record of $4.2M with sales for the week coming in at $5.9M.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.


About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

Dollars & Sense: Washington Liquor Control Board Canna Insurance Requirements

By Paul Pukis

WASHINGTON: With all the excitement of starting your recreational marijuana business and the mounds of paperwork to complete, for I-502 licensees readying for market, little details about mundane topics like insurance may get overlooked.  The bad thing about overlooking any of the required details, is that you risk your application falling to the bottom of  your investigators list.  To eliminate this from happening, let’s dive into the LCB requirements for insurance.

According to WAC 314-55-082, the intent of the insurance you’re required to buy is to protect the consumer of your product.  For this reason, the LCB requires two coverages and they both have to be at $1,000,000 or higher.  First, Commercial General Liability (CGL) is required to protect someone from your negligence on the premises.  For example, if someone comes to your property and slips and falls due to water on the floor, then you may be responsible for their injuries.  But, that’s not all.

Second, due to the specific language in the Code, which says, “…insurance shall also cover bodily injury, including disease, illness and death…” you’re also required to purchase Product Liability.  Although the term Product Liability is never mentioned in the Code like General Liability is, the only way to get coverage for disease, illness and death from the product you sell is Product Liability.  Therefore, in order for you to obtain and keep your license, the LCB must see General Liability and Product Liability listed on the Certificate of Insurance listing the WA State LCB as an Additional Insured.

Keep in mind, just because these are the only two required coverages, that doesn’t mean they’re the only coverages you can get.  As you’ve seen, every organization is out to make a buck in this industry and the insurance companies are no different.  For whatever price they set, the insurance companies are willing to provide coverage for indoor and outdoor equipment/tools, building, Loss of Income, Crop Coverage, and, more recently, Commercial Auto Insurance for delivery.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact Paul Pukis at Mosaic Insurance Alliance LLC where he runs the WA State Recreational Marijuana Insurance Program.  Through this program, Paul has access to five insurance companies willing to compete for your business.  You can reach Paul at 425.320.4280 or Paul@Mosaicia.com.

Seattle Technology Meets Marijuana In New Networking Event

WASHINGTON:  A kitchen device that infuses cannabis into your food and a Yelp! for Marijuana. Those are two ideas that have start-up companies growing fast with connections to the state’s new Marijuana industry.

Many of the entrepreneurs are attending a series of Cannabis Tech Meet ups in Seattle. The second event took place Monday night at Magical Butter Studios in Seattle’s SoDo district and more than a hundred people showed up and took part.

“‘Pot head’, ‘weedy’, ‘stoner.’ These are negative connotations,” said Red Russak, organizer of the meet up. “These are entrepreneurs, and they command respect.”

People of every background participated in the conversation Monday night, even those who know little about weed.

“You have the guy who has never smoked before that’s like ‘Wait a minute, I’ve never smoked before, but this could be something big,” Russak said.

Uncertainty Surrounds Marijuana ‘Green Rush’

WASHINGTON: As Sam Calvert prepares to open one of the state’s first legal marijuana stores next month, he sometimes thinks of a historic parallel from a previous century.

Washington may be about to experience a marijuana “Green Rush” similar to the Alaska Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century, when discovery of gold in the Klondike prompted thousands to seek their fortunes in unfamiliar territory. Only a small percentage of the miners who went into the frozen hills came out with enough gold to get rich, Calvert said. More people got rich by selling them picks, shovels and other supplies before they went in, and food and alcohol when they came out.

“There’s an endless array of people who want to provide me with supplies or services,” said Calvert, who formerly operated a commercial property company and plans to open Green Star Cannabis on North Division in mid-July.

Other prospective marijuana businesspeople – some call them “ganjapreneurs” – report similar appeals. Lawyers and accountants offer specialized service for the tightly regulated and heavily taxed businesses; software companies offer systems to track the plants from startup to sale; and security businesses offer advice on protecting against robbery or internal theft.

4 Keys To Moving Forward With Marijuana Reform

Guest Opinion: A leader in the legalization effort says there is a lot more to do to fulfill the promise of the voter-approved initiative.  By Pete Holmes

WASHINGTON: Some time this summer, retail marijuana stores will open around the state, providing residents with the legal access they demanded when they approved Initiative 502 a year and a half ago.

While that step is huge, much work remains to be done in four crucial areas before we can call Washington’s legalization of recreational marijuana a success: (1) Regulatory enforcement to keep I-502’s promises to voters; (2) an adequate supply of legal marijuana to put illegal (unlicensed) drug dealers out of business; (3) reconciling the recreational and medical marijuana systems; and (4) incentivizing local governments not to “opt out” of I-502.

ACLU Of Washington Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

WASHINGTON:  The ACLU of Washington hailed a decision by the Washington Supreme Court today recognizing the right of medical marijuana patients to raise a medical necessity defense in court.  The ACLU-WA filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case (State v. Kurtz) saying that the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act did not supersede the common law medical necessity defense, and that medical marijuana patients should be able to cite both medical necessity and state law in defending themselves. A medical necessity defense is available to someone who has violated a law, but was justified in doing so because the harm being avoided is greater than the harm of violating the law. [Read more…]