A supporter who followed our story on Ontario, Oregon’s $10 million marijuana sales month wrote in to ask us to take a look at the town of Liberty Lake, Washington.
Liberty Lake is a small suburb between Spokane, Washington, and the Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene metro area in the Idaho Panhandle in the north of the state. It’s estimated population in 2018 was just under 10,000 people.
It’s not an entirely compatible comparison with Ontario, which at 11,000 people is the largest town in its county of 30,000. Liberty Lake is in Spokane County, home to over half a million people. Ontario’s marijuana sales are largely going to people from a Boise metro area of 800,000 people. Liberty Lake’s potential customer base in the Idaho Panhandle is about 150,000 people.
Still, it is worth noting that the one marijuana shop in Liberty Lake, the closest shop to the Idaho border, is the shop with the highest monthly sales of all 33 operating marijuana shops in Spokane county. At almost $1 million in January 2021, the latest data available, the Liberty Lake shop was the ninth-highest grossing shop in the entire state.
Moving south on the map to Whitman County, we find the cannabis shop of the county’s six that’s just over the state line from Moscow, Idaho (home to the University of Idaho) is also the top producer in the county, generating over $400,000 in January 2021 sales, $140,000 more than its next competitor.
Those six shops in Whitman County are all located in Pullman, Washington, right near the border. Collectively, they sold over $1 million in marijuana. The entire county has a population of around 50,000. Moscow, Idaho, has a population of about 25,000, with about 11,000 of those being university students.
Farther south in Asotin County lies Clarkston, Washington, a twin city just across the Columbia River and the state line from Lewiston, Idaho. There are just three marijuana shops in the entire county and they are all within the same city block five blocks over the bridge from Lewiston.
Those three shops in Asotin County notched $1.3 million in January 2021 sales. Clarkston is a city of just over 7,300 people in a county of 22,500. The city of Lewiston is just over 32,600 in a county of 40,000.
Again, trying to evaluate the proportion of Washington marijuana sales being made to Idahoans is a tricky task. Unlike the example of Ontario, Oregon, these shops in Washington also have sizeable in-state customer bases and smaller Idaho customer bases. But if we consider the single shop in Liberty Lake, the six shops in Pullman, and the three shops in Clarkston, those ten Idaho border shops are selling $3 million worth of marijuana per month.