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Whatcom isn’t No. 1 when it comes to marijuana sales

Nick Cihlar of Bellingham, Wash., co-owner of Subdued Excitement Inc., shows off marijuana ready to be packaged at the pot-growing company in nearby Ferndale on April 13, 2015.
Nick Cihlar of Bellingham, Wash., co-owner of Subdued Excitement Inc., shows off marijuana ready to be packaged at the pot-growing company in nearby Ferndale on April 13, 2015. The Bellingham Herald

Whatcom County isn’t No. 1 when it comes to recreational pot sales in Washington state.

It’s not even in the top five, according to a new report from the the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

The Legislature created the institute to carry out nonpartisan research.

That includes its September writeup, “I-502 Evaluation Plan and Preliminary Report on Implementation,” which is a status report on the roll-out of the recreational marijuana law as of June 30. State voters decided in November 2012 to legalize and regulate recreational pot for those 21 and older in Washington.

The new law also required the institute to study the law’s impact on things such as public safety, substance abuse and the economy.

It’s too soon to evaluate the impact, the institute says. This preliminary report simply lays the groundwork for that study, though it does have some interesting tidbits.

Top recreational pot counties

The No. 1 spot belongs to Klickitat, at least when it comes to per capita sales of recreational marijuana. Its three retailers racked up sales of $65.80 per capita. Its total pot sales were about $1.3 million.

The others rounding out the top 5 list are:

▪ Clark, $56.93 per capita, $24.6 million total.

▪ Jefferson, $51.23 per capita, $1.5 million total.

▪ Spokane, $47.14 per capita, $22.3 million total.

▪ Cowlitz, $44.68 per capita, $4.5 million total.

So where’s Whatcom County?

It’s in eighth, with sales of $39.39 per capita. The nine retailers in the county rang up a total of $8 million in sales.

King County, the most populous in the state, had per capita sales of $24.39. Its 34 retailers had sales totaling $48.1 million.

Youth attitudes about pot

Marijuana use and access for students in grades six through 12 didn’t change much from 2002 through 2014.

But their feelings about pot have.

In most cases, the percentage of those who think regular use is harmful has been dropping since 2004.

The institute’s next report will publish Sept. 1, 2017.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

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