Article by Oscar Pascual, SF Gate
Washington state’s marijuana market has become so large that it has almost taken over alcohol sales.
Marijuana sales surpassed the $200 million mark in the second quarter of 2016 for the first time, just $37 million short of the revenue generated from alcohol sales, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.
Washington’s marijuana sales from the second quarter of 2016 totaled nearly $212 million, while alcohol sales during the same period amounted to almost $249 million.
The state ended recreational sales through medical dispensaries in July, making all sales go through licensed recreational pot shops. Recreational sales rose to $66.6 million in the third quarter and brought 2016’s total sales to $278.6 million.
Advocates of the state’s legal cannabis program believe that the regulated marketplace has provided effective competition against black market sales.