Apr 222015
 April 22, 2015

marijuana washington state felony drug possessionWhen legal marijuana went on sale in Washington last summer, the prices were astronomically high. There was not enough supply to go around, there was a lot of hype in the air because marijuana was going to be sold legally for recreational purposes for the first time on the West Coast, and marijuana stores took advantage of the situation. People were paying $100+ for an eighth of marijuana. My how things have changed since then.

The average price for recreational marijuana in Washington has fallen to $12 per gram. With reports that there is a surplus of over 46,000 pounds of recreational marijuana in Washington State right now, I’d expect that number to stay the same, or drop even further. Per The Joint Blog:

The price of legal recreational cannabis has dropped significantly in recent months in Washington, according to new data released by the state’s Liquor Control Board.

According to the Board, the average price of recreational cannabis throughout the state is $12 a gram. When sales began in July, average prices were near $30 a gram.

The prices in Washington State are still too high. Even with prices falling over 50%, the prices are still more than twice as high as they are on the black market. The black market will never be eliminated at that rate. With that being said, a lot of stores in Washington are barely scrapping by because they have lowered their prices as much as they can, but due to Washington State taxes and federal 280e provisions, there’s not much left for store owners after all is said and done. Washington needs to revamp the marijuana tax structure, and the feds need to reform 280e provisions, if the marijuana industry is ever going to reach its full potential in Washington.

 

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  • ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ
    • khh

      The comments are brutal! I scrolled through the latest 50 or so of 708 total comments. Nearly every one of them panned the article.

  • HellNo

    Marijuana is a very adaptive, prolific, plant. It will grow anywhere in America. It is much easier to grow than tobacco, which needs very specific conditions. And what is an ounce of tobacco worth?
    When the prohibition on marijuana was first proposed, there was a lot of doubt that pot could be controlled, because it grew wild all over America.
    We don’t call it “weed” for nothing.

    • stellarvoyager

      I remember the federal government’s program to eradicate feral hemp (ditch weed) in Kentucky. What a colossal waste. I’d rather they build a bridge to nowhere. At least you’d have some kind of structure to look at in exchange for your money.

      • HellNo

        Yeah, it still grows all over Kansas and Missouri too. Birds spread the seeds in their droppings.

    • jason

      This just make me want to start a viral movement where people get their hands on hemp seeds and just scatter them everywhere…open fields, medians on highways, etc…and watch it grow everywhere…then watch the idiot government official scramble to cut it down before it grows legs and comes to their houses to burn their bibles, rape their kids and steal their wives…boogity, boogity, boogity!!! the Weed is coming to get you!!!!!!

      • HellNo

        Now that’s funny!
        The only thing dangerous about hemp is it gives you a headache if you smoke it. We used to call it “Kansas killer” back in the 70s. We need to develop a sativa strain that replaces Chinese hemp for fiber, and also produces quality buds. That would be a serious cash crop for farmers.

  • firetheliberals

    The idiots in olympia refused to recognize supply and demand when setting the system up. Market forces will always adjust to an equilibrium point when supply and demand balances. Unfortunately, the retailers who are pioneering this industry have to survive. The greedy tax man is contributing to the imbalance. Olympia should eliminate the VAT and be satisfied with 9.8 per cent sales tax. But OMG, olympia is charging a sin tax trying to penalize folks, for their social agenda. And it is backfiring!

    • Tosa Brown

      I find it amusing that a pothead like yourself wants to “fire the liberals”
      It’s liberals who worked to get pot legalized in states in the first place, Maybe you should ask your conservative tea party pals in Congress what they think of pot legalization

  • WA Weed Connoisseur

    $12 is not double the average price of black market weed in WA or OR. A mid level gram runs you $10 on the street, pretty darn close to the recreational prices.

    • HellNo

      The black market dealer is risking his ass when he sells you weed. The legal stuff should be WAY cheaper.

    • K Kush

      Add the taxes and that $12 gram almost doubles in price!

  • joint spaceship

    I am wondering: if the stores earn too little from dropping their prices below $10 to beat the blackmarket, then how can the black market really go away. The prices need to be very low but apparently the store owners don’t get it, how much do store workers make a year

    • Joshua

      Joint Spaceship,
      I think You have missed the point there, the point of the high prices, is just to Cover the taxes, there are currently minimum 2 excise taxes that the store owners, are federally taxed on as if it were income in the store owners pockets, so we as store owners have to inflate the price like a snowball going down a mountain, in order to cover more taxes for each time we raise the price 1 dollar we make 17 cents, so if the product is $20.00 per gram (pre-sales tax) we make 1.70 (take into account COGS) which must then be used to run our stores, and hopefully enough to split 2 cents per stake holder. We at Miller’s Marijuana (Formerly: The 3-M’S of Grays Harbor) have one of the lowest overheads in the state. However we must still mark product up a minimum of 150% to cover all of these taxes, and make that 17 cents. Then we must repeat this situation a hundred times a day, just to stay in business. We are selling some of our products at our cost of acquisition, and still hearing people bitch about the price, I apologize, but according to the State law, we are not allowed to sell below that cost. The market will settle down in the next 6 months expect to see bottom shelf at $5.00 OTD and Top shelf Leveling at around $11.00 OTD so long as the excise tax is removed and we are not liable for that income which is not really income. This should happen around July or August if the LCB knows what they are talking about. We are currently taking home around 2500 a month salary, as Store owner/operators with ZERO employees, and working 12-16 hours per day. Are we taking home to much a year? I don’t think so. -Joshua Miller: Miller’s Marijuana in Porter, Washington

      • hanscom

        So how much is the tax per ounce?

        • Joshua

          The Tax is based on the price You set pre-sales tax, so if I sell a gram for 10.00+ 8.5% state and local sales tax the out the door price is 10.85, and the excise tax is 25% of the pre-tax 10.00 so out of the 10 I pay 2.50 to the LCB then You have the Federal taxable amount which is 40% of the Gross profit, so lets say I paid 4.00 per gram, sold it for 10.00+ Tax, that means I owe 40% of 6.00 of which I really only receive 3.50 so out of the 3.50 I actually made on that 10.85 OTD (2.40 is the Federal tax owed) so that leaves me with$1.10 profit, so I am netting about 10% of the gross, and the actual tax is 25% of the sale price.

  • Nattyrem420

    Guess how much I pay for my weed? Round about $0.05 a gram. If I were to sell it to myself after processing and extraction, round about $2.00 a gram. This is the future of Marijuana in America. Grow your own and don’t forget to flush.

    • HellNo

      Yeah, the whole point of a black market, is a huge mark- up for the risk you take to sell it. Once your product becomes legal, the price should drop drastically. And I pay about 2.00 / gram on the illegal market here. The prices I hear quoted for legal weed would be laughable here.

      • Ben Stevens

        Yo, I’m from Birmingham, AL and gotta ask, what is the quality you get for $2/g?

    • HAZZI

      You do not know what the hell your even saying. 5 cent a gram?
      Sell for 2$ a G?

      Your growing outside and not producing quality thc

      • MarkTele

        You do not know what the hell your even saying. I just harvested some outdoor grown cannabis – one hit and your good for 4 hours.

        • HAZZI

          I’m not saying out door marijuana can’t be good. Look what nattyrem said, buys at 5 cent a gram and sells at 2$ a gram. Why would anybody want to be involved with the cannabis trade at those rates?!

          • MarkTele

            I believe he’s growing his own and has figured he pays about 5 cents/gram, $2/gm after he spends the time trimming. Probably about right. How much does basil go for? I can buy a bunch for $1 at the farmers market. Cannabis is easier to grow and produces a higher yield.

          • MarkTele

            I just did the math on my 6 plant personal crop. Costs me a bit over $100 for soil amendments, water, clones, neem oil … comes out to about 40 cents/gm, & I go for discreetness over yield. It will last me a full year and I’ll have plenty leftover. Share with friends, most of who have their own crop to also share. Bake the small buds/leaves into edibles. Never have to deal with high price retail or black-market dealers and never run out.

  • bud

    Same problem in Colorado. Prohibitionists seized control of the tax committees and decided to make cannabis ridiculously expensive. A punitive measure for consumers. I remember that it was cheaper to buy on the street that at a dispensary. But the edibles at the stores were still superb.

    • The Other LA

      Colorado does not have the same problem. I wish everyone would stop knocking Colorado as if prohibition was somehow better.

  • Nathaniel

    Now we are getting into reasonable pricing. Is $12/gram still a bit pricey? You bet, but the trend will likely continue until Co. prices are reached [which is ≈$8.50/gram? Can someone confirm this for me? Just word around the camp fire is the number I have]

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    I’m sure glad I didn’t plunge a hundred thousand or so to start a growing operation. A one way ticket to personal bankruptcy, thanks to the Liquor Board.

  • briteleaf

    So much greed. Think about it. Grow a plant that grows like a weed but sells for $336 per ounce. That’s $5,376 for ONE POUND. There’s so much tax and profiteering that the black market can still undersell. Crazy.

    • HellNo

      Yep, and those farmers that will be growing hemp (same plant, different uses) will be getting maybe a dollar per plant, and making money. For 200 years marijuana was just another row crop. You don’t need a multi- million dollar facility to grow it. If you have good genetics ( seeds), you can grow quality weed as easy, and cheaply, as corn.

      • HellNo

        The most recent cost projections I found for hemp production were $240.00 per TON. That’s combining the sale of both fiber, and seed. Estimated production is around 5 tons per acre for fiber.

        • HellNo

          Using these figures for commercial production of hemp, if you figure bud weight at only 1/10th that of the dry fiber, one Pound of buds would cost the farmer $1.20. Though actually the hemp farmer considers the buds to be worthless, and turns them back into the soil. Breeding for high THC, and fiber production, would increase the hemp farmer’s profits (if legal) and actually lower his costs by increasing yield. So the actual value of marijuana is less than a dollar a pound.

          • HellNo

            For comparison, tobacco which is a very labor intensive crop, sells ( wholesale ) for around $2.00 per pound.

          • Paul

            I one smart cookie

  • Tosa Brown

    That was the deal when pot was legalize.d There’s going to be massive taxes
    I don’t understand why growers & dispensaries are complaining about something they know is part of the contract. Yes, street prices are still lower but black market sellers take a risk of being incarerated

    • BabydickBinLaden

      lmfao, how many people have you heard get busted since it got legalized. i know people that grow right in there fucking front yard.

  • Derp

    I’m boycotting recreational until the price and quality competes with medical. 10mg edible for $30?! Don’t waste my time with that. I can’t find a half gram of hash oil for under $30, and I used to pay $17. Don’t expect to get tax from me, and believe me, you could get a lot of it from me if you we’re simply competitive.

  • Matt M

    Does anyone know if Washington dispensaries need a certificate of good standing? if not is there an equivalent?

  • Eagle

    Hoping it’s legalized in Ontario Canada soon.

  • BabydickBinLaden

    agreed, i only buy black market. Because shortly after it was legalized everyone i knew started growing and selling to me for less than 5 bux a gram. fuck paying that shit tax.

    • embengyak

      we all must pay a fair tax on things & the rich should pay the billions they owe, makes for a better country

  • Hagbard Celine

    I read an economic analysis of what legal weed in all fifty states would mean pricewise .The conclusion they reached was that it would be so cheap that loose joints would be like sugar and salt packets are now.