It’s Harvest Time for ‘Green’ Growers in the Yakima Valley
Its harvest time in the Yakima Valley.
While growers all around the valley are busy harvesting fruits and vegetables there's another group of growers that are harvesting the other crop that the valley is known for, marijuana.
Moxee and other areas in rural parts of the county are popular with growers
While traditional crops like apples and cherries make up the bulk of harvest marijuana is quickly becoming the next up and coming crop in the Yakima Valley. Many marijuana growers have found a home in the Moxee area. KIT News was granted exclusive access to one of the dozens of farms in that area this week where the harvest is underway. The harvest of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds however won't go to the market as dry marijuana. This crop is being prepared for the processing market to create oils. The crop will be sold to processors who create oil for both the retail and medical marijuana market.
Security is tight, a requirement of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Like every farm in the area, this farm under heavy security, a requirement of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Each plant is also labeled and numbered under a state system for tight quality control.
2020 sales of retail marijuana added up to more than $1 billion
Marijuana is a big crop in Washington state bringing in millions of dollars each year to help the state economy. It was first legalized through a ballot measure in 2021. Since then sales have grown year after year. State officials say in some places in the state cannabis sales outpace tobacco sales.
Last year sales of legal cannabis in the state brought in an estimated $1.8 billion to the state economy. This year’s figure is expected to be higher. Predictions are that the figure will rise to $2.12 billion in 2021. Tax revenues are huge as well. Last year property, sales,excise and corporate taxes added up to $883.38 million.
Retail marijuana sales are increasing every year in Washington State
According to a report from Washington State University “retail cannabis sales grew 21% between 2019 and 2020 and grew 605% between 2015 and 2020.”