Pot shops happy with first month of legal sales

Pot shops happy with first month of legal sales

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been less than a month since recreational marijuana stores opened in Washington and so far producers, processors and marijuana retails have generated more than $2.4 million in sales.

Spokane Green Leaf, located off Country Homes Blvd. and Highway 2, is the only open store in the Spokane area. The majority of buyers are local but store employees say they see customers from Canada all the time and even some vacationers from Europe.

Spokane Green Leaf opened its doors on July 8th. Hundreds waited in line for the first taste of recreational marijuana in Eastern Washington.

"Business has been fantastic, it's been awesome," said Jody Cleveland, an employee with Spokane Green Leaf.

Supply has been spotty but store hours are starting to get consistent.

"In general we always have plenty of stock, it might not be the size you want to buy," said Cleveland.

Customers are also getting consistent. Green Leaf owners say about 20 percent of customers come from out of the area. This includes visitors from Idaho, Montana and other places across Washington. Many on vacation and calling ahead to make sure the store is open.

"A lot of Canadians, which has been really awesome, nice to have the international crowd. Had a couple of Swiss passports come in one Sunday which was really awesome," said Cleveland.

The Liquor Control Board says recreational marijuana license holders, in 21 days, generated more than $2.4 million in sales, translating to just over $614,000 in excise taxes.

Keep in mind the state has only issued 34 retail licenses, 111 processor licenses and 136 producer licenses. Thousands more are pending.

Green Leaf says it sees about 700 customers on Friday and Saturdays and around 300 to 400 weekdays. A lot of customers rediscovering marijuana after a 40 year hiatus.

"They even found like old papers that were labeled, still had the 72 copyright on them, they had to buy new papers from us cause those weren't' going to work anymore," said Cleveland.

The two other licensed stores in Spokane, Satori and Green Star, say they hope to open soon. One of the major hurdles there is once again supply.