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Washington Marijuana Stores Team Up To Fight Price Gouging

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colorado price legal marijuanaLegal marijuana is expensive in Washington State. This last week, prices reached as high as $30 per gram. That works out to $840 per ounce. I have never heard of someone getting $840 per ounce, no matter how good it is. But, I guess if people are willing to pay that much, let the invisible hand of economics carry on. Still, I think the legal recreational marijuana industry needs to scale back prices. If store prices are multiple times more than street prices, it could come back to haunt the industry.

There’s a lot of blame being thrown around in Washington State over the high prices. Per Koin:

The store’s owners blame the price shift on growers and processors, who they say are taking advantage of low supply and high demand.

“The growers that got us initially, they’re the ones that we’re not gonna plan on dealing with,” said Hamide.

Now, Hamide and five other stores are teaming up to from a retail association that will give them some clout at the bargaining table with growers.

I think that as more stores open, and more growers and processors get licensed to operate, prices will come down. Right now there is simply too much demand and not enough supply. But it’s still disappointing to see people taking advantage of the situation. It’s also sad to see people willing to pay such high price tags. But, if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do. If Washington allowed home cultivation like they do in Colorado, and will in Oregon, it would help fix this problem as well.

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49 Comments

  1. Right! I like my widely available antibiotics and slightly more hidden race discrimination in 2015. But with legal gay marriage in US and legal weed in my state… I hope the progress spreads.

  2. Self correcting except ahem, from all the retailers and profiteers in between marking it up too? Prices are what they are but were set from already then sinful MMJ (taxless) prices. It doesn’t need self correcting.

    It needs people supporting the shops that PASS ON SAVINGS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. so the ones who charge more, die out. I guess if you live in a town that only has 1 or 2 shops ( as I do now)… well man guess find a better hookup but you’re boned!

  3. Giving people the option to buy from the corner shop instead of the black market is probably about the _only_ thing that we have going for us in the fight -against- the worldwide war on drugs. If you have a friend or someone you can buy from that’s fine you won’t have that option taken from you. Weed prices are outrageous for the most part everywhere… so I am with you!

  4. I live in CO and a lot of people are still trying to gouge customers at dispensaries. Medical Cannabis has been around for a while here and it seems that the prices were set by that for a while. Before A64 opened retail shops in 2014, $45 for 1/8th seemed to be the standard price for good bud in shops or on the street (generally, w/e). People were charging $60 for 1/8th on Jan 1st for top shelf bud like golden goat (after people stood in line for 3 hours)… and now a lot of shops still try to keep that kind of fleecing business running.

    There are shops in Denver that sell $30 for 1/8th of golden goat or Chernobyl on “summer sale” but it has been going on through the winter. I recently moved to Colorado Springs and it gave me some perspective on why some places charge more than others. in CO Springs retail shops aren’t allowed (only med) but t here’s a nearby town that does allow rec. There they charge $45-60 (before taxes, if you’re retail it’s like 20 something or more %) for Bruce Brainer, Blue Dream, or top shelf stuff for 60.

    The place that has the really cheap summer sales in DV is owned by a growing company, and I talked to someone at one of the retail only shops where i live now and turns out they buy their product from a middle man or another dispensary, and you don’t see $30 18th’s there.

    I could use the $20 to top off my gas tank, drive to Denver and buy an eighth for $30, and after driving back have enough money for a meal. It is criminal to be charging people this much – and it sounds like you guys in WA – and we ALL know it’s their profit margin they are keeping high – get way worse off deals.

    I can’t blame shops if they are getting product already marked up but, anything $12/g and above is some people along the line being – you guessed it – greedy. But if there are places selling product from a middle man, that means at least 3 people are marking it up for profit before taxes. Demand is sky high, and i don’t believe for one second there is any lack of supply to meet that said demand. And, after all, weed grows like a weed now doesn’t it?

    I’ve heard a couple of those unwisely talkative greedy folks said they were in the dispensary business talk like they could carpet their house with dollar bills. Another guy how much he rakes in delivering product from growers to shops.

    We are lucky here to have retail or med at all, I have to county myself lucky. However with towns banning sale (if you live in one) just compounds retailers, the retailers’ suppliers, the growers, “100% this and that, organic, prayed over” profiteering going on, everywhere in the us in ALL businesses, we get boned. Why do you think your other vegetables in the grocery store are also criminally priced one has to wonder? HMMM?

    Let Maryjane be our guide to love and happiness; we have made great progress but the work is not done. I don’t think greed has any room within there so one more step towards leaving the greed out! :)

  5. Its ridiculous, Ill keep getting it off the books as long as I can, paying higher than $10 a gram should be a crime. It needs to be unrestricted so we can just buy from private, good producers just like you would buy veggies from an organic farmer.

  6. I think the high taxes were a way of getting it legalized. There are a fair number of people who think it should be taxed super high and would vote for it.

    Pot prices in Colorado are down near black-market levels. Not as low as I-know-the-grower prices but still low enough that I would buy some. Here in Washington prices are still way too high.

  7. over regulation is exactly why legal pot is so expensive. it’s taxed 25% each time it changes hands, it has to be tested for “dangerous molds”, and the state gets to pick and choose who gets to grow it, process it, and sell it. the free market simply doesn’t exist where legal pot is concerned. let’s look at what it takes to actually grow and process pot…. minimum 2 / 3 mos grow time, 2 weeks dry time, trimming the goodies (hand trimming is still the best method), 3 / 4 weeks cure time or more… let’s not forget nutes, lights, fans, ect… and the cost to operate… throw over regulation into the mix and the black market will continue to thrive. the prices will drop a little while the outdoor stuff passes through the market but once it’s gone the prices will increase again. the only solution is to de-regulate and allow the free market to self regulate… there would be more supply to meet the demand and prices will drop.

  8. Of course it is. Limit the number of legal suppliers. High taxes. Together they cause high prices. Only the government can violate the laws of supply and demand.

  9. Cannabis before 1937 contained THC and CBD. It was unlicensed. I’m a conservative. I prefer the pre-1937 regime. See – Cab Calloway-“Smoking Reefers” and Cab Calloway – Reefer Man (1933) – a song from the 1933 comedy “International House”.

    I am tired of regulators and SWAT teams breaking down doors to control things.

  10. Yes. It was traditional. Cannabis was unlicensed until recently. Before 1937 nothing. I’m a conservative. We should revert to the pre-1937 regime.

  11. Well until 1937 it was not a problem and cannabis was treated just like tomatoes. I’m a conservative. We should go back to what we had before all the laws against cannabis were enacted.

  12. There is nothing wrong with it if you like ENFORCERS. Much better is when a private organization like UL handles the matter.

    BTW regulation is how the big boys keep the little guys out of a market.

    And then there is regulatory capture where the regulated control the regulators. Private regulation is more honest. Because the regulators can be sued effectively.

  13. “black market prices are in line with the cost of production.”
    Not at all. Marijuana growing is a high profit business. After initial seed and equipment costs, which are minimal, the electricity and nutrient reqs are insignificant in comparison to the amount of plant that can be grown and sold. Trust me on this…blackmarket value is FAR above production cost.

  14. Exactly! When was the last time anyone complained about the taxes on something affordable? The high retail prices are the only reason the taxes are noticeable…

  15. There’s nothing wrong with government oversight and licensing, the problem is having a limit on the number of licenses given out. If anyone can get a license as long as they meet the criteria, and there is no max cap in place, the free market can operate and enable new competition to match the demand, thereby keeping prices down. Nothing wrong with regulation, as long as it comes without limitation.

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