Weedless in Seattle: Washington's Looming Pot Shortage



On July 8, six months after Colorado retailers began selling marijuana to recreational consumers, Washington's state-licensed pot stores are supposed to start opening. But as I explain in my latest Forbes column, their shelves may not be stocked for long. Here is how the how the column begins:

Washington's state-licensed pot stores are expected to start opening next month, but they won't have much to sell. A slow state licensing process for marijuana producers, combined with the difficulty of obtaining local approval for grow operations, will result in shortages that are apt to be more severe than those seen in Colorado after recreational sales began there in January. The result could be prices almost twice as high as those charged by medical marijuana dispensaries and black-market dealers.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB)plans to award 20 or so retail licenses on July 7, meaning the first stores could open as soon as July 8. Eventually there are supposed to be 334 outlets across the state, although that plan looks doubtful in light of temporary or permanent bans by about 90 local governments. Meanwhile, as of last Tuesday, the LCB has awarded just 62 marijuana production licenses; more than 2,500 applications from would-be growers are still pending.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. lol. Insert Episarch joke.

    1. A Baptisit minister, a priest, a rabbi and Episiarch walk into an artisanal-mayonnaise, craft-brewing, thin AND Chicago “style” “pizza” joint, which is beside a 24-hour circumcision clinic, and derpfee is lifting Morgan Fairchild at the Gold’s gym on the other side of the strip mall.

      Anyhoo, two cops walk out of the Dunkin Donuts next to the Gold’s Gym, and….

      1. Morgan Fairchild now or like from 40 years ago?

      2. the only thing better than deep dish pizza is deep dish pizza slathered over with artisanal mayonnaise and a cold craft beer.

  2. Needs moar fake orgasm.

    1. A fake coughing fit.

  3. I see something about unintended consequences being totally awesome. If the black market thrives that means legalization doesn’t work, right?

    1. It’s like the black market in tobacco cigarettes.

  4. I have to admit, that business in the photo looks really sketchy.

    1. Would you want your pot store to look any other way?

      1. I wonder if the indescript business is to help prevent some of the backlash that was in Colorado where some people weren’t real keen on the pot vegas look.

    2. Well, to be fair, the real action is in the alley out back.

  5. “The result could be prices almost twice as high as those charged by …….black-market dealers.”

    I doubt the consumer will suffer a shortage. Prices may go up a bit though.

    1. Aren’t you allowed to grow your own?

  6. It’s not like Washington/Seattle borders a foreign country or province known for its quality black market marijuana.

  7. Some of us testified at Washington State legislature hearings that the way this so called legalization was being set up was not going to do much more than increase the black market. So much good that did.

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