Marijuana Shortage To Sober Washington State
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Marijuana Shortage To Sober Washington State
Posted by CN Staff on July 07, 2014 at 06:07:13 PT
By Eric M. Johnson
Source: Reuters
Seattle -- His glass pipes are on display and final regulatory hurdles nearly cleared, but the biggest concern for Cannabis City owner James Lathrop as he opens his Seattle pot shop this week is the possibility of running out of mind-altering bud in a matter of hours."What do you do when your shelves are empty? Do I just send everybody home? Do we try and stay open? I can't pay people if we aren't selling anything," said Lathrop, who expects to become one of Washington state's first legal marijuana retailers this week as the state issues licenses.
The state is poised on Monday to become the second after Colorado to allow retail sales of recreational marijuana to adults, under a heavily regulated and taxed system that voters approved in November 2012. Stores could begin operations as early as Tuesday, with up to 20 expected to open statewide.While Colorado, where regulated retail sales rolled out fairly smoothly in January, is collecting millions of dollars per month in tax revenues, Washington has charted a glacial and more halting path to market.Pot regulators, business owners and analysts say pot could sell out in Washington within hours or days at the few shops slated to open on Tuesday. That is largely because of limited harvests by licensed growers and processors, or because they failed to clear regulatory hurdles to get their product to market.Washington is also grappling with a backlog of hundreds of would-be growers who still need to be screened by overwhelmed investigators with the state Liquor Control Board, agency spokesman Brian Smith said.The board has so far licensed fewer than 80 growers statewide, out of more than 2,600 applicants. And only a fraction of their pot -- roughly 560,000 square feet is in production, or about 10 football fields' worth -- has gone through required lab-testing. Many harvests won't be ready by early July."There is a gold rush mentality. Many didn't read what it would require to get a license. ... We didn't expect 7,000 applicants," Smith said of the number of interested growers, processors and retailers.Cannabis City's Lathrop could find only one grower ready to ship on July 8, opening day, and plans to suggest customers stick to a 2-gram limit to stretch his supply.High PricesShoppers looking to get high on Tuesday could see a gram selling at $15-$30, said Dominic Corva, executive director of Seattle's Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy.Novelty-seekers and tourists might pay $25 or $30 per gram - roughly twice the current price at weakly regulated medical dispensaries. At those prices, heavy users will stick with neighborhood dispensaries or drug dealers, Corva said.Even as legal retail operations roll out, dozens of cities have enacted pot moratoriums or outright bans. Also, no stores will carry popular "edibles," such as pot-infused brownies, because no processor has been cleared to operate a cannabis kitchen.Investors and regulators remain hopeful the market will ramp up in the coming months as more growers, processors and retailers come on line.But at least one grower expects it will take much longer."It'll be at least three to five years before we meet the demand," said Bob Leeds, co-owner of Seattle-based Sea of Green Farms, which got its license to grow and process pot in March.On a recent afternoon, Leeds' employees were huddled around a table packing palm-sized baggies with pot strains like Dutch Hawaiian, Space Needle and Double Purple Doja. They were inching toward the 36,000 bags as well as hemp-paper cigarillos they will ship to stores statewide.Leeds said he charges stores about $3,000 to $4,500 per pound, or $7 to $10 per gram before local, state and excise taxes, and any retail mark-up. He predicts stores will sell out within hours of opening on Tuesday."There won't be any more until weeks from now," he said. "We'll have our second crop in July." Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Leslie AdlerSource: Reuters (Wire)Author: Eric M. JohnsonPublished: July 6, 2014Copyright: 2014 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on July 07, 2014 at 13:35:58 PT
All Along the Watch Tower...
the business men drink my wine, they dig my herb!Sitting here in the midst of the whole production industry, I can tell you there is no shortage of herb. It is almost impossible to sell locally due to a flooded market. Locals take it to Portland Open Herb market. Some are going south to LA the open market. From local talk there is a lot of herb out there still on the black market. To sell locally the price is from $800 to $1,200 lb. They can get $2,000 to $3,000 at the markets.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on July 07, 2014 at 11:34:11 PT
Thanks, BOTEC
This is what happens when your "consultants" are concerned more with sucking up to fascist politicians (who pay their consultant fees and otherwise control their paychecks via government-accredited universities and government-hireling professors: like BOTEC), than anything else. The classic communist Soviet socialist result? Pot stores stocked as well as Soviet communist stores ever were. (I.e. empty shelves.)Thanks, BOTEC! We could have had pot in Washington the day after the vote - back in 2012 - if government simply got out of the way, and let farmers markets exist.  But no.Instead, Washington State has empty shelves (thanks to Soviet-style centralized BOTEC commissars). Who knows (in addition to tapping your cell and making making pretext stops), maybe government thugs will stand right next to the barren shelves, and beat the wicked customers with their fists -- just like Chinese Department Stores in Maoist communist China did to customers back then. The customers, seeking to buy goods with their wicked money deserved their beatings for not assuming the correct socialist attitude. Score: BOTEC: paid millions $$$ in "consulting" fees; laughs all the way to the bankYou: no pot for you! (Growers selected by honest government 'lottery' to ensure they are few and small and completely strangled by government at every stage.) Conclusion: The No-Pot-For-You system the toxic BOTEC banditos created, is working exactly as designed.
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