May 1 seems like an odd day for a new record, unless you consider that it was a Friday — which is often the best weekly shopping day for pot — and that sales are, for the most part, growing across the board at Washington stores.
But Brian Budz, one of the owners of New Vansterdam, has a different theory to the May Day success.
“I think it was a combination of the parties for the (Floyd) Mayweather-(Manny) Pacquiao fight and preparation for Cinco de Mayo,” Budz said, adding that several customers at his store told him they were stocking up for the boxing match.
The previous daily sales record was set on a Friday, April 17, heading into the 420 marijuana holiday weekend. Stores netted more than $1.76 million in sales that day, according to the state Liquor Control Board.
Vancouver stores are in many ways leading the pack when it comes to continued growth — with the city’s two biggest stores almost continually among the top three sellers in the state.
New Vansterdam has been the state’s top seller since recreational shops first opened in July, with nearly $7.98 million in sales to date, and Main Street Marijuana comes in second with more than $6 million to date. Seattle’s Uncle Ike’s is third with more than $5.88 million.
“It’s not really a huge secret that a lot of our success is attributable to our proximity to Portland,” Budz said. “Having a Denver-sized area at our disposal has been an immeasurable benefit for both stores.”
Main Street Marijuana is closing in fast on its Vancouver neighbor’s overall record. Main Street was the top seller in Washington for the second month in a row, netting $1.5 million in sales in April.
“Since the first day that we opened this has been all about our customers,” said Ramsey Hamide, owner of Main Street Marijuana. “We’ve worked from morning to night to bring a wide variety of products at the best prices we possibly can. We’ve still got room for improvement, and we will continue to work hard to live up to our customers’ expectations.”
Second-largest in the state was Uncle Ike’s in Seattle, with about $1,23 million in sales in April. And the third-largest in Washington was Vancouver’s New Vansterdam, which netted more than $1.18 million in April sales.
Clark County’s smaller pot stores also did well, with Vancouver’s The Herbery and High End Market Place, and Battle Ground’s Cannabis Country Store all showing increased sales in April.
The Herbery ranked the state’s 19th-best store for April sales, followed closely by High End Market Place.
Vancouver’s Fairwinds Manufacturing, which makes tinctures and other edible cannabis products, was the city’s top producer and processor in April, netting $137,612 in sales. Battle Ground’s Agrijuana was the second biggest producer and processor in Clark County, with $101,522 in sales in April.
So far, the state is reporting $177 million in marijuana sales since stores first opened in July. That’s also $44 million in excise tax. Month-by-month statewide sales continue to increase as well. Rounded up, they are:
• July 2014: $3.4 million
• August 2014: $7.3 million
• September 2014: $8.7 million
• October 2014: $13 million
• November 2014: $16 million
• December 2014: $17 million
• January 2015: $18.5 million
• February 2015: $22.3 million
• March 2015: $30 million
• April 2015: $35.1 million
Both Budz and Hamide said they expect that trend to continue, with both stores planning for more growth in the coming months.
New Vansterdam is expanding into Portland on May 8 with the opening of its medical dispensary called New Vansterdam Med.
“We’re in good shape,” Budz said. “And there’s going to be some changes at our main store by the end of this summer. We want to make it more user friendly.”
Both stores also are considering adding medical dispensary licences to their Vancouver shops once the licenses become available through the Liquor Control Board, Budz and Hamide said.