Marijuana is sold at Main Street Marijuana on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Vancouver, Wash., the first day of sales at the site. (Beth Nakmura, The Oregonian)

Oregon: With legal pot (but no sales), Washington’s border shops see surge

Marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday — but recreational pot shops won’t open there for three months or longer, and now many Oregonians who are wondering where to obtain this newly legal plant matter are heading north to the Washington border.

Oregonians buying Washington weed in border-town Vancouver, Wash., is nothing new. In May, Vancouver’s Main Street Marijuana sold $1.8 million in marijuana, besting the No. 2 shop Uncle Ike’s in Seattle by around $300,000, according to the Washington Liquor Control Board.

“Probably half of our business is from Oregon,” Main Street owner Ramsey Hamide told The Oregonian in June.

But now that cannabis is legal to possess and ingest in Oregon, even more locals are heading north.

“Monday was the biggest Monday we’ve had, and Tuesday was our biggest Tuesday,” Shon-Lueiss Harris, spokesman for Vancouver pot shop New Vansterdam, told the Seattle Times this week.

From the Times’ report:

Vancouver’s six pot shops saw far more foot traffic than usual Wednesday, a trend that has continued all week leading up to the landmark shift in Oregon’s law. And with recreational sales set to be sidelined in Oregon for at least three months or perhaps even more than another year, store owners in Vancouver are bracing for their biggest sales figures yet.

If you’re reading this and wondering, “But isn’t that illegal?” — yes, it is. From our June 18 report:

The document known in the cannabis industry as “The Cole Memo” outlined eight enforcement priorities as they relate to the federal government’s guidance of individual states’ legal marijuana programs. One of the eight enforcement priorities outlined in the memo: “Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.”

Marijuana crossing the border from one legal state to another doesn’t seem to be too large a concern for Oregon police, but the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is encouraging residents to not do it.