Marco Jimenez

Report: Washington’s Cannabis Canopy Allotments Largely Under Developed

The first Washington state cannabis canopy report shows that a number of Washington licensees have underdeveloped cannabis cultivation operations compared to their canopy allotment from the state.

Full story after the jump.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has released its first canopy report in which the agency measured and analyzed the state’s canopy-based cannabis licenses.

In the report, plant canopy is defined as “the square footage dedicated to live plant production, such as maintaining mother plants, propagating plants from seed to plant tissue, clones, vegetative or flowering area.” In Washington, plant canopy allotments are divided into Tier 1 (<2,000 sq ft), Tier 2 (2,000-10,000 sq ft), and Tier 3 (10,000-30,000 sq ft) licenses.

In an effort to gather first-hand information on actual canopy size — going beyond just license documents and traceability plant canopy datasets — the WSLCB hopes this data will help them more thoroughly analyze and develop rules, update policies, and better understand cannabis production within the industry.


The Canopy Analysis Team ultimately surveyed 792 premises out of 1179 total licenses; fourteen sites were surveyed by drone. The WSLCB could not survey all 1179 licensees due to 254 licenses having no canopy and 109 who gave various reasons for not participating in the survey. They compared the canopy allotments according to license type to actual canopy used and found allotted canopy space in Washington State is largely underdeveloped. According to the report, four percent of licensees were producing over their allotted canopy quota.

Tier % of Total Surveyed %of  Total Canopy % of Un-Used Canopy
1 17% 3% 41%
2 45% 28% 42^%
3 38% 70% 38%

State regulators report that the low canopy utilization numbers are likely caused by the high price of developing canopy space. Additionally, “market prices for cannabis have been consistently declining, access to capital investment is problematic, and the traceability transition has been difficult,” according to the report.

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