Cannabis is Washington’s 4th most valuable crop, industry report says
By Paul Roberts
Apples may be Washington’s biggest cash crop, but legal cannabis is gaining ground.
Growers in Washington generated wholesale revenues of $653 million on 561,000 pounds of legal weed in 2020, according to a new estimate by Leafly, a Seattle-based cannabis marketplace and information site.
That makes cannabis Washington’s fourth most valuable legal crop, behind only apples ($2.1 billion), wheat ($949 million) and potatoes ($753 million), but ahead of cherries ($562 million) and hay ($501 million), according to figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It’s also enough to rank Washington as the fourth biggest producer of legal cannabis, by wholesale revenues, among the 11 states with legal recreational sales, which last year totaled $6.2 billion in wholesale revenues, according to Leafly. California leads the U.S., with $1.7 billion, followed by Colorado ($1 billion) and Michigan ($736 million).
Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize sales of recreational cannabis, in November 2012. Washington had its first commercial crop in 2014. The state currently has 1,070 licensed producers or producer/processors, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Leafly released the wholesale estimates for Washington and other states in part because legal cannabis still lacks the recognition that other agricultural crops get as a source of economic value.