Washington Pot Sales Still On The Rise, Despite Oregon Recreational Launch

By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record

WASHINGTON: Marijuana sales in Washington continued to grow in October, despite fears that the launch of Oregon’s recreational market would end the trend.

Washington pot stores sold $61.3 million worth of product in October, a smaller than usual gain over September sales of $59.6 million, but a gain nonetheless.


Southwest Washington stores have been heavily dependent on customers traveling North from Oregon, especially Portland, which until Oct. 1 had no legal way for recreational customers to buy cannabis. That allowed two of Washington’s largest three stores (Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam) to thrive across the border from Portland in Vancouver, Washington. (Washington’s third store that’s continually in the top three is Uncle Ike’s in Seattle).

Through Oregon’s Early Start program, which lets medical dispensaries sell marijuana flower, Oregon has seen robust sales – with several sources noting about $11 million worth of product sold in the first week.

In contrast, sales have dipped in Vancouver, but not enough to counter the month by month growth that has continued across the entire state of Washington since recreational cannabis was legalized in July, 2014.

The 2015 Washington Marijuana Retail Seminar: Becoming A Front Runner, October 5th in Bellevue, WA

WASHINGTON:  Front Runner (formerly TetraTrak.com), a leading business intelligence resource for Washington’s licensed cannabis industry has teamed up with The Marijuana Business Association, to present: “The 2015 Washington Marijuana Retail Seminar: Becoming A Front Runner” on Monday, October 5th at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, 1-5PM, with a VIP Reception to follow at the hotel bar.

The MJBA Professional Seminar will feature presentations from Front Runner’s  Brian Yauger and Joe Armes, who will provide a comprehensive look at the WSLCB wholesale and retail sales data to date, with an eye toward giving 502 retailers actionable business intelligence to help them build sustainable profitable businesses.

“I want every retailer who attends this seminar to feel that they’ve gotten the value of the ticket price back in the first 15 minutes of the event,” Yauger told MJNN.

Leading Retailer Uncle Ike’s founder Ian Eisenberg will be a featured speaker and panelist. He’ll be joined by an impressive lineup of top retailers including Evergreen Market and The Joint.

PayQwick CEO Kenneth Berke and Green Bits Business Solutions Director Matt Beckley will join Brian Yauger and Joe Armes for a roundtable discussion on retail trends.

Listen to the keys to Romancing the Brand with top executives from Washington’s leading CannaBrands: Zoots, Mirth, Evergreen Herbal, Monkey Grass Farms, Buddy Boy Farm and Sky High Gardens.

Event sponsors include: TetraTrak, Green Bits, Visual Options, PayQwick, CannaVentures and Sky High Gardens.

Reserve your Front Runner spot today. 

Brian Yauger on stage at MJBA Meetup in Seattle.

Brian Yauger on stage at MJBA Meetup in Seattle.

Legal Cannabis Creates Yet Another Spinoff Industry—Wall Street-Style Data Analytics

WASHINGTON: Washington State’s newly legal cannabis capitalists don’t tend to agree on much. Ask any one of them about any current pot-business topic—the regulation of medical marijuana, indoor versus outdoor grows, whether labs fudge pesticide and potency test results for favored clients—and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a passionate harangue. But the more you talk to them, the more they seem to agree on one refrain: However volatile our market might seem, and however much investment capital is sloshing around trying to turn itself into profit, the big bucks haven’t even shown up yet.

As Gordon Fagras of the lab Trace Analytics put it: “The big players are just standing back. They’ll be coming in slowly, picking up the pieces as other businesses fail.” Because marijuana is still federally criminalized and the market is so young, the heavyweight financiers—in big agriculture, big tobacco, big pharmaceuticals, and big alcohol—are biding their time. But when they arrive, cannabis data analysts like Brian Yauger (of the local company Tetratrak) and Jonathan Rubin (of New York–based New Leaf Data Services) will be rolling out the welcome wagon and trying to turn them into clients.

Yauger and Rubin are in the same business, but the contrasts between them are a case study in the different personalities—newcomers and longtime pros—trying to make their way in the new cannabis marketplace.

Yauger is a Texan who coached college football for decades before starting a “green” construction business in Austin that helped commercial properties meet environmental standards by filling their roofs with insulation and coating them with epoxy to reflect solar heat. Then he met, in his words, a “multi-, multi-, multi-millionaire” from the Seattle tech world who convinced him to move up here and get to work analyzing the local pot market.

His business, Tetratrak, analyzes public data and sells information to subscribers. Yauger can tell you the most popular day to buy weed in Washington (Saturday), the number of customers at recreational pot stores on July 12, 2014 (2,188), the average wholesale and retail prices of a gram that month ($15.88, $27.95), the number of customers on June 27, 2015 (21,385), the wholesale and retail prices that month ($3.74, $12.91), the most popular strains in Seattle right now (Blue Dream, Cinex, Dutch Treat), and where the highest-revenue pot shops are these days (in order: New Vansterdam and Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, Uncle Ike’s in Seattle, Herbal Nation in Bothell).