When legal recreational cannabis sales began in Washington State last year, cannabis was selling for $25 – $30 a gram, two to three times the average cost found on the blackmarket. Now, with dozens of stores open throughout the state, and with a restructured tax system, prices have plummeted to an average of $11, according to the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.
When legal cannabis sales began on July 8th last year, there were just a handful of cannabis outlets open. Now there are 164 outlets reporting sales throughout the state. In addition to the competition of more retail outlets reducing prices, there has been a large increase in the number of cannabis cultivators, reducing costs across the board. The state also recently eliminated the three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis (25% at three different levels) in favor of a single excise tax (37%).
In total over 300 outlets have been approved to sell cannabis legally, with more expected to be given approval soon.
There was over $250 million in recreational cannabis sold during the first full year of legal sales, resulting in over $70 million in taxes for the state.