Jan 082015
 January 8, 2015

washington state marijuana regulationsWashington State legalized recreational marijuana during the 2012 Election, but it wasn’t until July 2014 that recreational marijuana sales were allowed. At first, prices were unreal. 35-40 dollars per gram was considered to be normal at some stores. Other stores obviously sold it for less, but those were the numbers my friends were paying at some stores. It was a bittersweet, because while it’s great that legal marijuana was being sold at stores instead of on the blackmarket, it was hard to make the argument that legal marijuana would eliminate the blackmarket due to the fact that marijuana was so much more expensive at stores.

Fortunately as more growers came on line and started harvesting, prices started to drop. According to Bloomberg News, prices have dropped by as much as 40% at some stores:

Shortages that plagued the start of Washington state’s legal marijuana market have eased, sending prices in recreational-pot stores down as much as 40 percent.

Seattle’s first pot shop, Cannabis City, ran out of marijuana in three days when it opened in July. Since then, the state has licensed more growers, processors and retailers, increasing supply and reducing prices to an average of $15 a gram, said Randy Simmons, deputy director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Prices were as much as $25 a gram in July, including taxes.

In order for legal recreational marijuana to succeed, prices have to be reasonable. They don’t have to be at or lower than the blackmarket necessarily (although that would be optimal), but they have to be close enough that people aren’t turned off. A big reason for high prices in Washington is taxes, which blackmarket dealers obviously don’t have to pay.

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  44 Responses to “Prices For Recreational Marijuana Drop 40% In Washington”

  1.  

    Any taxation and regulation scheme is going to be a tightrope walk. On the one hand, you want to make sure revenues are high enough to pay for the regulation scheme as well as any other state incentives, like additional money for parks, education, etc.. On the other hand, you don’t want prices to be so hefty that the black market can be competitive with the legal market — the black market should shrivel on the vine. I’m glad for Washington’s sake that the prices are coming down.

    Eventually, all prices will be reduced to the levels estimated by the CRS report on potentially taxing cannabis, nationally. If I recall, their estimates put common “Budweiser” cannabis prices significantly lower — about $15-20 per ounce. Right now, prices are still reflecting the black market prices because there’s still no interstate commerce allowed. Once cannabis can cross state lines, you’ll see prices drop even more dramatically. But that’s probably a long way out, thanks to feet-dragging lawmakers.

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      Well – $15-20 per ounce is MY wet dream ;-)

      •  

        Right well now you are obviously smoking way too much already lol

        •  

          the only time you smoke too much is when you have smoked it all…….just grow some more…. save your roaches and seeds.
          oh yeah you guys only smoke Buds … right ….silly people cannabis is for Native Americans no mater what your ethnicity is

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            Cannabis is for everyone. It originated in it’s two plant varieties, from Asia..Indica coming from the South Sativa from the North. My being part Comanche has nothing to do with it.

          •  

            You are absolutely correct Your being of the ethnic origination of Comanche nation has nothing to do with being a NATIVE AMERICAN because this continent was not named when our people were First Here…….. FirstNations people (comanche,Kickapoo. algonquin…etc.) and because the english want to capture and abuse everything not owned by them the word NATIVE and INDIA ian have become lost to public domain as well NATIVE AMERICAN means now born on this continent regardless of your ethnic origins. name yourself tribal when you speak from your tribes heart and use your american christian given name when you speak as a US citizen/FirstNationsCitizen. people don’t understand the duplicity of citizenship not even when it’s from canada to the US or anywhere for that mater. oh and there are 3 varieties with unknown variations due to climate and location.

          •  

            Thanks I forgot about industrial hemp and the name. I agree with you on everything. I’m 1/2 Canadian so that makes it a little more interesting when I view American politic’s.

          •  

            think “tricks are for kids” statement David and you’ll get it.

      •  

        15 to 20 for an ounce of smokin compound pre ground and packaged just like tobacco. I could do that for you all day ….. your requested price is about 50 dollars over current market value in local Emerald valley growers gardens. when folks stop being paranoid about growing in their back yards this price will disappear all together….. yep just like lawn grass nobody wants it. I can prove this to you by pointing out that when able bodied folks start planting the vegetable in controlled publicly supported ways the plant will make more and more produce available the extracts will be commonly available through the same naturo paths that other organic medicines are available through. and folks will come to believe in the plant as a vegetable.

    •  

      WOWFAD: cannabis is already crossing state lines all day and night long everyday everywhere.
      truck loads semi truck loads……there is a glut of pot in the northwest.
      dispensaries in oregon require analytic testing which is regulated by a 3 gram random sample, there is not tech seal on the remaining body of produce…….and it cost about 200 dollars to have the tests done to your produce…..which after testing there is no control nothing to stop the dispensary to dump more untested produce into the tested and sell it………so the grower get shit for return value for the growth they produce. this is why there is no weed in the dispensary…..there is lots of weed on the street everywhere all day long. just follow your nose in July or August…… really roll down your window and take a drive through the local neighborhoods people are growing 10 pounders on their first attempt and have issues as to how to work with the volume drying and curing and packaging we have no safe equitable market. we have government dispensaries of chemically synthesized produce. I am not against having a market but why do we have to have a dispensary at all…..

    •  

      Prices have come down due in large part because 502 stores are starting to realize they can’t just wish away Seattle’s medical dispensaries. They are their competitors whether they like it or not. Why should Seattle’s unregulated dispensaries have to close if California’s are allowed to remain open ? I’m encouraged reading that Detroit has been opening new unregulated dispensaries . I hope dispensaries continue to increase unfettered nationwide.

  2.  

    Washington State is and always will be a higher priced market until the State starts allowing home grown cultivation …. And as one reader pointed out, interstate commerce would help as well …..

    The key is the Feds and Schedule One Classification- Once weed is classified properly the flood gates will open!

    •  

      There will be home grows that’s a given. Seattles Mayor wants it, The cty attorney wants it. even if the legislature punts on the dispensary issue again there will be grows. However, therein lies the problem. Right now WA. medical patients can possess up to 16 plants in all stages of growth. If the 502’s succeed in their plan to destroy medical dispensaries, the plant grow limit will be reduced to 4-6 plants (still being worked out). This is well below the amount that a cancer stricken medical patient needs to grow and have on hand. So far, legalization has been the worst thing that could happen to sick medical marijuana patients in Washington. California was in hindsight smart in keeping cannabis decriminalized with a $100 fine, no record, no jail. I’d bet when Californians see what’s happening up here, ( we have very similar medical marijuana laws) our medical dispensaries under siege, they might think twice about voting in favor of legalization in 2016. The lesson is this. If you like your states medical dispensaries, and think they’re for patients first. Don’t legalize.

      •  

        If we could just get the prices down for the medical situation! Who Can Afford this! I’m trying not to take pain pills, which almost killed me! I live in MI, & the prices are awful!

        •  

          Sorry to hear about your pain. I was able to stop taking opiates when I instead I can vaporize concentrates. Prices normally come down once enough quantities are sold. Seattle’s dispensaries still provide good value. That’s why the recreational stores want to see them closed. Seattle’s Mayor has a well thought out plan to keep them open I don’t see Seattle’s dispensaries closing anytime soon. They will always be here regulated or not despite what 502 store owners desire.

  3.  

    Have to agree, prices have to be reasonable, or inline with what people are used to paying, in order for the black market to diminish. Otherwise, why pay a lot more just to be legal when folks are used to purchasing illegal weed?

  4.  

    I sure hope the cost is lower than current black market prices, which are certainly lower than that $15 a gram average. With the risk of arrest eliminated, and people being able to grow out in the free, open sunshine, I’d say selling weed for prohibition prices is more criminal than selling it outside the law. Let’s hope the downward trend continues in Washington, and that Oregon’s more reasonable tax structure keeps us from ever seeing $35 a gram herb. I also hope Oregon is more open and efficient when it comes to bringing current growers into industry compliance–there should be no reason for shortages leading to supply-and-demand price increases when we go online, considering the state already produces significantly more than the population can consume.

    •  

      What a hoax all that was. Greedy fat pigs feeding at the trough. People were flocking to WA. many from from other states, so they’d often send a spouse who waited for the three month licence residency rule to expire. They then placed an application to be among the first of several I-502 store licence “lotteries”. These folks never had any intention whatsoever, of opening a cannabis business in Washington. All they were interested in was getting their mitts on an I-502 licence. This, so they could flip them for some serious cash.These were repeatedly sold and re-sold. In many instances what was originally was a state $150 licence fee was allegedly flipped for up to 6 figures. Then they left with all the loot never to return. All of this could have been avoided if these simple words had been placed in the 502 bill: Licences cannot be resold. I should write a freak’n book about this shit. It’s still going on today. Opening any new business has it’s quirks but there was no actual shortage in the true sense. See why the 502 stores have so demonized and maligned medical patients as frauds and whining shrilly how they can’t compete with dispensaries. No dipshits you can’t compete with yourselves. Yes now they want so desperately to see Seattle’s medial marijuana dispensaries disappear? I hope Mayor Murray’s recently announced dispensary plan ultimately prevails. It was Con Job 101.

    •  

      Be careful of out of state schwag merchant’s. In Washington we only deal with locals. That does make things easier.

      •  

        I sure hope that won’t be a problem here–Oregonians only consume about 10 percent of the cannabis grown here, according to one estimate, so we have plenty of quality weed to go around, as long as those current growers are welcomed into the fold.

        For some reason I received a comment from you by email that doesn’t appear here, though I hope it will. That’s a scary situation you describe with people flipping licenses in Washington, turning a privilege into a commodity. It sounds like such a positive move on paper, bringing the black market into the free market. That’s the potential insidiousness of language–who’d choose black over free? But the truth is more that we’re in danger of displacing a healthy cottage industry with corporate control. I’m psyched Oregon allows home grows, because I want to do everything I can to keep my money out of the hands of the shareholders who seem to believe they have more stake than producers or consumers.

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          “I sure hope that won’t be a problem here–Oregonians only consume about 10 percent of the cannabis grown here, according to one estimate, so we have plenty of quality weed to go around, as long as those current growers are welcomed into the fold.”
          2 years back I grew my first 10 pound plant……I have taught others ……you and I together could consume 120 pounds in a single season…….10%? if allowed I believe we could consume all of it including David’s Washington Schwag.
          and what we don’t smoke we’d turninto oil or grease or hash. but we would still smoke it OREGON is the black hole of cannabis don’t cha know? oh and that crap you been throwing away put that in a card board box or brown paper bag and send the courier delivery to me I want that as well bring it all we want to make cloth and paper and rope and plastic substitutes and lubricants and yes medicine. oh and fuel yes fuel for your fucking diesel truck load of Washington Washrag David bring it down make a pack of rollies be less than a pack of tobacco and watch the cancer disease become a thing of the past just like prohibition change the god damned world dude fuck it all it’s time to roll an smoke. lock em and load em it is your NATIONAL DUTY trillions of dollars in debt on the brink of becoming a third world country and you want to discuss SCHWAG. who gives a shit !!!make the shit legal grow it and give it away stop attempting to control this weed recognize it as a vegetable and learn to eat it in every way possible it is the salvation of our planet it is the GREEN BUFFALLOW WAY welcome to the emerald valley folks we smoke plenty good for you cannabis extracts we drink em we we rub em we absolutely love em learn that you can refine every organic material into fuel……DUH? stop the world energy wars?provide this wonderful gift from GOD to all people the world over free from Tax,Fear, and Guilt. grown in Passion with love and set free upon the world giving peace in a real physical way.Set our plants free!

        •  

          Washington’s legislative session begins tomorrow. The only cannabis issue on the horizon I see happening will be on the 502 rec. side. They intend to revamp I-502 to allow home grows. One problem (and most likely the reason rec. grows weren’t included into WA.’s 502 law) is affordable housing activists are up in arms over what they view as discrimination of renters vs. mortgage holder’s. This because over one half of Seattle’s residents rent. This happened because in Seattle ( America’s fastest growing city), housing/condo prices are ridiculously over-priced and inventories scarce to non-existent. Just where does the city/county put 70,000 new residents a month moving to Pugetolpolis ?Most apartment manager’s and Mgmt Companies policies (many based out of state or Asian based) don’t allow cannabis grows on their property, (although many people do it anyway). The only way this issue gets resolved is when cannabis is rescheduled federally. But who knows when this might happen? Nevertheless, it’s becoming a hot political issue. Unfortunately I foresee future anti-discrimination lawsuits on the horizon. Another hot issue is the disparity between the number of plants allowed to be grown. Here we will see an even more intense (if that’s possible) reaction to recreational grows vs, medical grow limits. The new grow provision will probably be similar to Oregon’s or Colorado’s 4-6 plants etc. Medical activists won’t accept that if the state decides to integrate the two systems (still doubtful) but medical activists in Seattle are pro-active and very vocal to say the least. They want to ensure grow limits address medical patient needs which is currently a 16 plant, 48 ounce flower limit, under the states 1998 medical marijuana law. It should be interesting.

    •  

      I would like the effective price for cannabis extracts to be just under 2.00 dollars US per gram container tech sealed and deliverable through the MAIL US postal service. stop all the dispensary mark up and control. let the growers tax stamp and license be one unit that way marketing and additional mark ups make sense, because the originating price would come from the growers not the public demand.

  5.  

    Since Washington and Oregon are adjoining states, will we be able to travel between the states with weed legally?

    •  

      Good question

    •  

      I asked an attorney friend. He said No. People do it all the time etc, etc, but it is illegal to cross state lines. This lies at the heart of the Oklahoma, Kansas vs. Colorado lawsuit (although neither of the plaintiff’s have legalized). However, the same rule of law applies federally. No legal intrastate outflow between states. I have heard that Montana and Washington have reciprocal medical marijuana laws, which I’ll have to check out of curiosity.

      •  

        This is why we need to reschedule Cannabis as a vegetable……………Cannabis is a vegetable…….just like potatoes and beans……
        we eat soy beans and make fuel from them but you would not drink the fuel would you? people make vodka from potatoes and it would burn as a good clean fuel but I would not drink it…….but I don’t drink alcohol..

    •  

      no but I will hold it for you just bring it over LOL

    •  

      Your silly in a good way…… so your driving right you ever get stopped on the Columbia river bridge? . SO next question …. if you smoke under the Columbia river bridge and the smoke drifts into traffic will the folks going north be more or less stoned than the folks traveling south? and does it take longer to roll joints in Washington then it does in Oregon…. and if rolled in Oregon do the joint have less runs?

  6.  

    This is where legal to grow would be a great thing. But to pay that much per gram is robbery.this is why we need legalization on a federal level.

  7.  

    This is precisely why Oregon needs to stand against the League of Oregon Cities proposal to allow individual city taxation. 91 was written with the state having sole power to tax and it should remain that way. The only way to wash away the black market and increase state tax revenue is to make certain prices in the retail outlets are cheaper than underground marijuana. Do us all a favor, from soccer moms, to college students and demand that 91 be implemented as it was written.

    •  

      A similar case occurred last summer in Washington. The state didn’t want to win a judgement against some small towns, that wanted to opt out of the states 2012, I-502 recreational cannabis law. Winning meant that an appeal from these towns might be kicked up to a higher legal venue. Even possibly all the way to SCOTUS. It appears an appeal against Washington had been these towns true goal all along. Part of an odd anti-cannabis Trojan Horse. Thankfully the judge saw through their ploy and ruled in the towns favor allowing them to opt out. However, in opting out of 502 the towns were prohibited from sharing in any I-502 tax proceeds. In America, sometimes you win, by losing.

    •  

      The flat tax on growers of $560/lb is going to reduce supply more than you think.

      •  

        Those that can grow efficiently, on a large scale, will be able to manage just fine, providing plenty of product, while making a healthy profit. I know a few folks who already have the knowledge, and money to proceed, and they are not likely the only ones with the capacity to do so. I can’t foresee a real shortage happening.

        •  

          In washington prices are getting down to 800 dollars a pound leaving growing facilities. A flat tax of of almost 600 bucks is going to give you an artificially inflated bottom to the price of end product. Using a percentage that scales with the changes in price would make much more sense unless you are specifically trying to make sure that prices can’t drop below a point.

  8.  

    Too many consumers doing too much consuming to support those high prices any longer, even in the phoney recreational market. Black market cannabis was about $250 per oz for years and now it’s about half that on average in the Sea-Tac metro area. See for yourself by checking the Seattle -Tacoma version of Craig’s List and just type in MMJ for a real eye opener – prepare to be amazed! (especially if you don’t live around here). Between the cannabis market changing before our very eyes in the state of Washington with quality NOW at all time highs and the prices at all time lows and the wipeout at the gas pumps where I filled up earlier today for under $2.20 a gallon, it’s a great time to be a cannabis and gasoline consumer in the state of Washington. Of course you shouldn’t drive and consume cannabis at the same time but so far at least, isn’t deflation great??

    •  

      Neither phenomena are the result of “deflation.”

      •  

        You’re wrong…

        From Wiki:
        “In economics, deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services”.

        Both items (gasoline and cannabis) have decreased from former higher price levels. Hence this is EXACTLY the textbook definition of deflation. Go argue with them…

        •  

          Those individual products deflated, but the dollar is steadily inflating. That is what he was referring too. Your dollar isn’t getting worth more(also known as deflation). neither of you are wrong you are using a word differently.

  9.  

    If Washington is going to to going to compete with the black market on sales they need to start by overturning these unconstitutional city bans on retail sales It’s bull shit.I ask my self is it worth the the long ass trip to the nearest retailer when I can have it delivered to my front door for free ????

  10.  

    The black market is supplied by home medical grows and collective gardens. Get rid of those, and you get rid of the black market. Make everyone equal, it is the only fair thing to do. The taxes will help ensure marijuana stays legal. If you aren’t paying into the system, you aren’t supporting legal weed in our state!

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