Marijuana sales reach record high during COVID-19 crisis

MUKILTEO, Wash. — During the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, marijuana sales tax revenues approached nearly half a billion dollars in Washington.

“The growth has been exponential. The changes have been exponential. The normalization has been exponential,” said Rober Cruggs, manager of Kushman’s Mukilteo Cannabis Dispensary.

This growth led to $473 million in state tax revenues in 2020.

Overall sales were up $78 million from a year earlier, as customers like Lucas Bordson spent some truly “chill” times in home quarantine.

“People buy a gram or whatever, maybe a joint, they go home, kick back and relax,” he said.

As sales skyrocket, KIRO 7 discovered Washington’s pot shops are doing a good job at preventing sales to minors.

In 2020, the compliance rate for marijuana shops was at a record 97%.

“(Shops) work with law enforcement, they work with the community, they’re engaged in communication and many of the stores have employees that are multilingual,” noted Josh Estes, a strategist with Washington’s cannabis industry.

At Kushman’s Mukilteo Cannabis Dispensary, record sales led to the need for a bigger building.

The result was an expansion in business while most other industries were cratering.

“I see people, 60, 70 years old coming in here — people who probably work at Boeing or other places around here,” Bordson told KIRO 7.

In Washington, tax revenues for pot have gone up for five years in a row.

Needless to say, this is a situation that’s anything but “hazy.”

“It’s reached a critical mass. It’s become part of the American lexicon,” said Craggs, adding that statewide sales are up so much because there are more options for cannabis shopping.

Currently, three new shops are in the process of opening in the North Sound alone.