Marijuana sales across Washington dipped in October, according to the council’s latest report. That’s when recreational marijuana sales started in Oregon. Sales in Washington have since increased, but at a slower rate than before Oregon’s market started.
The council’s latest forecast shows sales were particularly hard hit in Clark County.
“When you see that relatively large dip in Clark County sales, I think that’s contributing to the sort of overall slower growth that we’re seeing statewide,” said Steve Larch, the chief economist for the Washington State Economic Revenue and Forecast Council.
Before October, sales in Clark County represented about 12 percent of total sales by quantity statewide, Larch said. In January, the county’s sales were closer to 7 percent.
“It seems a reasonable inference that some of that decline in sales is from people that had been coming from Oregon to Vancouver, and now that recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon they’re not making the trip,” Larch said.
For Washington’s current two-year budget cycle, marijuana revenues are expected to exceed $400 million, Larch said, just a fraction of the total $37 billion in revenues economists are predicting.