We’ve been trying to get a handle on just how much money Idahoans are spending on legal marijuana at the shops across the western border in Oregon and Washington.
Figuring out the Oregon numbers are pretty easy. Only Ontario is sitting on the Idaho border and selling marijuana. The eight shops there brought in almost $10.4 million in sales in March. Ontario only has 11,000 people and its county only 30,000, so clearly most of the sales in Ontario are being made to Idahoans. One city councilor estimated Idahoans make 90% of the purchases there.
On the Washington side, however, the figures are bit more difficult to tease out. Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho, are both college towns with about 30,000 population that have sister cities of Clarkston and Pullman, Washington, respectively, that are roughly the same size. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho metro area blends into the far larger Spokane, Washington metro area. Ione, Washington, is a small mountain town that’s a bit of a drive from the far northern towns of Sandpoint and Priest River.
So, to try to discern the Idaho shoppers in Washington, we took a look at the dispensaries closest to the Idaho border. For Spokane, Pullman, and Clarkston, those are the shops within 3.5 miles (straight line) to the Idaho border. We also included the shop in Ione, 18 miles from the border, as it is the nearest shop to the panhandle counties of Bonner and Boundary.
Certainly not all sales at these border shops are to Idahoans, but it stands to reason that the ones nearest Idaho should have the most Idaho shoppers. We’ll take the entire sales figure from those shops as Idahoans, figuring the non-Idahoans who shop there are outmatched by the Idahoans who shop further across the state line in Spokane and Pullman. We’ll figure the same for Ontario’s dispensaries, that some Idahoans shop farther in-state in Huntington and Baker to make up for the Ontario residents shopping at home.
(within 3.5mi of Idaho border,
except Ione at 18 mi)
|Last Month’s Sales|
|WASHINGTON TOTAL (latest data)||Feb 2021 = $3,754|
|IONE (Pend Orielle)||$47|
|SPOKANE (Nirvana Cannabis)||$410|
|SPOKANE (Cannabis & Glass)||$863|
|SPOKANE (Apex Cannabis)||$500|
|SPOKANE (Primo Cannabis)||$424|
|PULLMAN (Floyd’s Cannabis)||$359|
|PULLMAN (Happy Time)||$27|
|CLARKSTON (Sativa Sisters)||$302|
|OREGON TOTAL (latest data)||Mar 2021 = $10,369|
|IDAHO WESTERN BORDER TOTAL||$14,123|
That brings us to a total of over $14 million dollars in marijuana products being purchased in Oregon and Washington by Idahoans who bring their marijuana back home.
In terms of tax revenue, Oregon taxes marijuana at 20%, so that state has raised $2 million in taxes from Idahoans per month. Washington taxes marijuana at 37%, so that state has raised almost $1.4 million in taxes from Idahoans per month.
If these sales stay consistent—and they won’t, they’re only rising—Idahoans will have contributed over $40 million in tax revenue in 2021 to its neighbors to the west.