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Legal Recreational Marijuana Prices Starting To Drop In Washington, Finally

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marijuana cash industry bankingLegal recreational marijuana sales started in Washington State about three months ago. Anyone who has bought marijuana at a recreational marijuana store has probably suffered from sticker shock. As recently as last week, prices for one gram of legal marijuana were as high as $38, and the amount of strains available were limited. That seems to be changing now, as more growers are harvesting and many strains have lowered to $20 per gram. One store, Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, is at capacity for product. Per The Columbian:

Ramsey Hamide grinned as he leaned back in his chair, looking out at piles of palm-sized plastic bags stacked in containers in the back room at Main Street Marijuana.

For the first time since the store he manages opened three months ago, Hamide found himself in an entirely unfamiliar situation. With two safes bulging and a table packed with product awaiting sale, Hamide couldn’t accept any more product. In fact, on that Wednesday afternoon last week, he found himself turning some growers down.

“We’re pretty much at capacity on what we can store here,” Hamide said. “We’re full. I can’t take anything more until we sell this.”

I hope to see prices continue to drop. In order for marijuana legalization to work, it has to do what supporters have always claimed – limit the black market. However, at $38 per gram, or even $20 per gram, that’s not going to happen. Hopefully price gouging is a thing of the past in Washington. If not soon, Washington stores may be forced to do so if/when Oregon legalizes marijuana. Oregon is projected to sell marijuana at $5 per gram.

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Johnny Green

107 Comments

  1. Do you know that the prices would be if the tax rate were dropped to those of alcohol?

  2. I am basing my statement on all of the qualifications and experiences described above.
    And you are right in a way. If you own a high volume Dollar Store or an espresso stand, or a real estate brokerage, then yes, you are probably clearing more than 2%.
    Just to be clear, I am talking net margins here, not gross margins, right ?

  3. What are you basing your statement on? I can name several small businesses that profit well over 2%. I think you need a new profession, if managing 2% margins is your thing. I wouldn’t hire you to alphabetize my books, let alone manage them.

  4. Yeah the supply issue is a mess because now the outdoor grow crop is ready to go without enough retail stores opened to sell their product to. It’s a chicken or egg thing. The Washington tax structure is crazy but the state and LCB (which regulate the I-502 stores) are just in it to make as much as they can in the short term. By the time Oregon’s retail stores are opened in 2016 Washington’s Native American tribes will be selling super cheap high quality cannabis on tribal land. There is a lot of that tribal land located in Washington. You’re right when you say we shall see. Interesting times. Thanks for the reply.

  5. OzzyBreadWinner on

    Importing and exporting of anything bought in Oregon for intended use in Washington without paying Washington’s sales tax is “banned”. You’re not supposed to buy beer or cigarettes in Oregon and use in Washington. But, practicalities say that what’s “banned” and what happens are two different discussions. It’s foolish to assume that the economics of Oregon won’t in any way affect that of Washington, especially when the market as a whole is still trying to find its equilibrium price. In Washington, since writing this, prices have dropped to the $10-$15 a gram I projected for Oregon. I haven’t studied Oregon’s tax code but when I wrote this I was going off of other projections I had read. As I have garnered, it’s a flat $35/oz ,which is, if scaled proportionally (which may not be the case..) around $1.25/gram.

    Meanwhile, in Washington..it’s a 25% tax to the wholesaler, and a 25% tax to the retailer. If prices can be as low as $15, that means the real cost of production is around $8, before tax. Adding Oregon’s $1.25 tax, and around $10 seems appropriate. In any case, it seems Oregon’s weed will be around $5 cheaper/gram…simply because of the tax structure.

    But the market is still balancing out, so we shall see.

  6. What do you base that statement on ?
    I have seen the books of several llcs and have managed a number of small businesses (($750k to 1.5 million per year) so I base my statement on that,
    I also know, when writing a business plan or applying for a business loan, that margin is considered an industry standard. But I am open to hearing what you have.

  7. For the uninsured or those without brains and a back bone.

    Its pretty easy to grow poppies and isolate Morphine sulfate from it.

    The high prices are because of drug addicts and their lying ways in addition to a cultural dogma from the protestants though you would be hard pressed to find a culture that didn’t ban some other cultures drugs.

  8. Because they expect others to labor for their benefit when they couldn’t do it them selves (assuming there are no bans on personal production).

    They are perfectly welcome to start businesses and show us all how its done.

  9. No one has stopped any of these people from paying taxes, getting their stuff analyzed, or running actual businesses except for their lack of desire to fund political action.

    How much has the medical growing community funded legalization again?

    How good is your friend if there has to be laws keeping the big boys out of the game for you to secure their business? Why be concerned about big business if they aren’t actual competition because you friends support you?

  10. Doesn’t matter. The point is that it *would.* Did you ever think that the people running the show want to discourage the bottom class from spending their days ripped out of their gourds?

  11. I don’t believe LLC’s are working on 2% profits. Thats absurd.

    I’m running a grow and selling to dispensaries. Its not like I’m some outsider. The guy I am selling to is doing well on a 1.7x markup (I like more exclusive relationships with my distributors).

    We may not have a cannabis tax in OMMP, but thats the only tax that isn’t there. I do have to give nearly as much as the tax to patients before I can earn a living, and I do have to live on half of the net after all the costs you’ve mentioned. Do you understand? I live off of half as much as other growers after taxes and costs.

  12. So the odds of accurately labeled Vicoden are exactly the same as accurately labeled Rhodiola extract?

    Additionally the chemical variability is exactly the same between Vicodin vs Rhodiola extract (~5% change in chemical composition for all sources)?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/science/herbal-supplements-are-often-not-what-they-seem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Do you know that most herbs and vitamins are mislabeled? Do you know that 5-10% if herbs and vitamins have unsafe levels of Lead for example?

    Your free market theories rely on informed and competent individuals. Most people are not that. Heck, they barely understand in depth labeling even if they are accurate.

    We are talking about markets, not individuals ability to produce their own plants. Plus, you ignore Morphine and Cocaine. Are you trying to say that people should be able to produce unregulated quantities of Morphine and Cocaine just because they are plant sourced?

    I’m for not “needing” to be sick just to get drugs and also for highly regulated production if you are going to buy, sell, or trade. Regulations do not apply to individuals producing exclusively for them selves (which means they do not give any to anyone for any reason).

  13. You are leaving out an awful lot of ordinary businesses expenses that
    every business person has to deal with. What are you paying in worker’s
    comp, B&O tax, wages, federal tax, business licenses, rental space
    with triple nets?, advertising, gas costs, then, all the WSLCB rules and
    regs (security system, set backs, fencing, application fees). You
    assumed costs have nothing to do with the real world. Most businesses
    walk away with 2% profits off their gross sales, but that assumes a
    keystone markup (100% while you estimated 25%), and every other business
    can deduct business expenses from their taxes, which cannabis
    enterprises cannot.

  14. Washington offers two separate very different retail cannabis systems. One, an already well established medical dispensary market. The other , the two year old high priced 502 recreational store system (with 5 retail Seattle stores vs. 330+ medical dispensaries). Some don’t actually seem to mind paying the much higher 502 prices because they like the testing and stringent quality controls mandated by the state and find value in this. However, many Seattle locals continue to use the much lower priced (but non state lab tested medical dispensaries, Fair or not, (depending upon one’s view), that’s the lay of the land, as it currently exists regarding cannabis sales in Washington. I personally don’t see this changing anytime soon, if ever.

  15. The State won’t remove a thing. Gotta love the dispensaries if you live in Washington. Medical patients and our dispensaries will eventually prevail. Olympia already knows it.

  16. Do the dispensaries “come and go” or, do “new dispensaries “pop up over-night” ? Medical marijuana and dispensaries were established law in Washington 14 years prior to 502 becoming law. Medical dispensaries will be here long after the 502’s are gone and forgotten. The WA. legislature is never going to force THOUSANDS of Washington medical dispensary patients into commercial stores paying the same high retail store prices the 502 store owners are bitching loudest about.

  17. Watching an episode of MSNBC’s new TV series “The Pot Baron’s of Colorado”, may have you reconsidering your statement “CO. “seems to have gotten it right”. Although I’m sure some people will enjoy watching a few rich yuppie’s fly around making personal fortunes upon the smoking ruins of what was once Colorado’s medical marijuana system, I kept thinking to myself : Colorado actually sold out their medical patients, destroyed what once was once an admired independent medical marijuana system……… FOR THIS ? Watching TPBOC renewed my faith in Washington’s 502 retail store system. Why? Because I’ll never see “The Pot Baron’s of Washington” in Washington.

  18. When medical dispensaries close it affects everyone, rich and poor. Sickness doesn’t discriminate according to how much $$$ people have in their bank accounts.

  19. Maybe “they” may just want to get high and have some fun. Or, perhaps they’re sick, and it makes them feel better. Why would either reason perturb you so much ?

  20. The retail price for a prescription of 120/ 60 mg. morphine sulfate ER tab’s (generic), for the uninsured, retails for $276. Morphine is simply compounded opium. And opium is the same medicine Alexander the Great’s physicians used on the battlefield during his conquest of Asia in 360 BCE. There is simply no logical justification why this medicine remains so expensive . So no, I disagree. It’s not wrong for “consumers to complain” about retail drug prices.

  21. Yes and opium, and heroin etc were legal in 1900 too. Doctors “recommendations” are preferred because cannabis urgently needs to be re-scheduled.

  22. “Regulated herbs” offer no better efficacy than “unregulated “herbs”. Sick persons should be free to use whatever makes them feel well.

  23. Thats 16 years of supporting inferior producers that can’t muster production in daylight (like having to pay taxes, submit to quality standards, and operate like every other normal busniess).

  24. Those black market people you are supporting are making more money and contributing much less to society at large. Its highly likely that those people have more criminal activity than just drugs too. If not, they are just anti-govenrnment ideologues who can’t stand any authority above their own (very unhealthy IMO).

  25. Most of the criticisms are from people who have no plans of being the producer, processor, or retailers.

    They are empty

  26. Thats about 20 doses.

    OMMP people complain about not getting 200 doses per month from “their” growers for free here in Oregon. Its all relative.

    Most of the complaints about pricing are positions you would never hear if they were the rich ones they criticize. How many people earning above median incomes care about the price of retail Cannabis?

  27. 1. Not *officially*
    2. 1.5-3x average but can be 1000x in some cases
    3. <~5% of the price they are selling for
    4. Its a nominal capital requirement where as the limitation is solely dependent on your bank account status or credit status
    5. Far lower per unit produced than vs growers.
    6. Retail stores are being charged based on their revanue, not based on an average cost to maintain an actual building. Basically the cannabis industry pays 3-5x higher rates than other industries for the same exact stuff
    7.Insurance is for people that *need* it. There is a reason I am not insuring my crops- we have an actual security system and couldn't possibly loose more than 1 months worth of production in the worst case scenario.
    8. A reasonable NPBTI is what ever I can get away with….The same as for everyone else. I am not going to earn less per unit produced than people selling bottled water for example.

    I am…mostly unfunded by capital not derived from production

  28. It is more work and the dealer gets the same price.

    Do you even see edibles commonly sold by any dealer anywhere?

    It also brings food allergies and food tastes into the algorithm. Street dealers are all about minimum effort. Making edibles means more work and bigger inventories.

  29. Interesting. The only problem with the pharmaceutical industry is a lack of actual competition- not greed. Its wrong for consumers to complain about prices when they could never actually produce those products for less through their own efforts (ignoring capital requirements since that is pretty arbitrary since all fiat denominations are entirely arbitrary).

  30. No less a joke then medical ethanol. Same goes for religious sacraments.

    https://prohibition.osu.edu/american-prohibition-1920/medicinal-alcohol

    Today’s “medicinal marijuana” has less legitimacy (in the “official” sense of the term) than ethanol did during the prohibition days. You actually had doctor’s prescriptions and had to go to an actual pharmacy in those days. Today, any moron can “produce” and “distribute” medicinal marijuana and there are no prescriptions required, just “recommendations.”

  31. I am more concerned about sick patients having access to legitimate medical facilities and legitimate pharmacopea, not having access to a bunch of nonregulated herbs without any doctors or actual medical facilities being involved.

    You want me to care about patient’s “needs” with respects to cannabis, advocate for actual prescriptions managed by actual doctors in actual medical facilities using materials that actually comply with pharmaceutical standards which allow for production by actual producers and not a bunch of patients whos only qualifications are being “sick.”

  32. So I should be able to procure unregulated quantities of Oxycotin AND Penicillin?

    Or are you simply nitpicking at the title of the agency implying that the pharmacy board should be doing the job instead?

    WLCC has the job because Cannabis prohibition mirrors Alcohol prohibition by 80-90%. Medical alcohol was very common before prohibition was repealed. Where are all the Ethanol prescriptions now? You can’t change that

  33. Would it be more politically viable for them to mandate church attendance?

    They are merely employing strategies they feel are most viable

  34. Yes because supporting you local degenerate who could never muster an actual license or pass actual regulatory standards is much more important than paying taxes and contributing to the community at large.

    The only “correct” price is the price you can do yourself which necessarily implies you as a market producer showing why the price is objectively “incorrect.” Mere pontifications based on non-market participation are pretty valueless.

    Example: I sold 24% THC top shelf flowers to a dispensary which has 12%THC top shelf flowers for the same exact price.

  35. False.

    1. Importing and exporting under Oregon’s law is banned
    2. The $35/oz tax rate is only marginally competitive for top tier flowers. It is likely Oregon is going to have a big shortage because no is going to pay $320/oz for outdoor mids.

    The prices in Wa are high because of capitalism. You can’t do anything but enter the market and do a better job for less. All other attempts to lower prices should be known as futile by all based simply on historical observations.

    Finally, people need to stop thinking that drugs or things they can otherwise live without *ought* to be cheap. I find $2 bottles of water much more offensive than $500/oz’s of the chronic.

  36. If they were truly at capacity, prices would be lower.

    I’m getting $4.5-5.5/g in Oregon wholesale. It resales for $8-11. Of course that is untaxed.

    Lets equalize the rates here:

    Wholesale- My price
    $4.5 x 1.25 (adding the tax of %25 to my grow)= $5.7/g
    $5.5 x 1.25 (adding the tax of %25 to my grow)= $6.8/g

    We shouldn’t forget that Wa forces growers to have a processing license to harvest and bag their flowers. That adds another %25 to the growers tax rate.

    $5.7 x 1.25 (adding the tax of %25 to my grow)= $7.1/g
    $6.8 x 1.25 (adding the tax of %25 to my grow)= $8.5/g

    Resale- Retail markup
    $7.1 x 2 x 1.25 (adding the tax of 25% to the retail)= $17.8/g
    $8.5 x 2x 1.25 (adding the tax of 25% to the retail)= $21.3/g

    I represent what a top tier grower can do. As you can see, the price I am charging right now is exactly equal to the lowest priced stuff on the Wa market, though my quality is decidedly top 3%. This is on top of the fact that I live off of 50% of the actual price because I am forced to work with partners for legal reasons and am also paying the OMMP tax by furnishing free flowers out of the harvest- so the reality is my prices are about half of the lowest when I am working on my own dollar.

    Maybe people should be throwing money at me without expecting me to give them power or profits if they really *want* cheaper, higher quality products. My estimate is that people don’t want that stuff since they always insist on being paid more than they deserve just for providing some assets or a license.

  37. I have seen too many collectives / dispensaries come and go in recent months to agree with your “clean, well operated…. blah, blah, blah…” bull stuff…. WA has so over regulated and over taxed the recreational market that new dispensaries pop up over night then disappear just as quick because of their lax regulations. the recreational market in Washington will never take off until the state gets it’s hands out of the cookie jar and allows the free market to regulate…. 25% tax per transaction… it is doomed to fail.

  38. Dontcha just love when your State finds out that their MMJ program suddenly needs a non-existent permit … or one that ‘suddenly’ was needed and not obtained by the MMJ growers, so MMJ is illegal the way it stands now. I feel their ‘story’ is just not believable re the permit that was just ‘found’. Why not say it the way it is: There is NO crop for Rec. here in WA State because it has all gone to MMJ so now Rec. wants to ‘steal’ it from them. So, obviously they have to abide or lose their jobs. My regular MMJ store can’t really say much right now but they did indicate it will ‘be okay’ … and I didn’t hear any finalizations on the issue yet. We MMJ patients are more often than not low income, so how in the heck are we going to afford $20-50 a gram … nada! We will have to go to our ‘street dealers’ who will prevail here. WOW, what a crazy process … CO seems to have gotten it right so why are we having so many ‘brand new’ issues?

  39. OzzyBreadWinner on

    This is exactly right…those in the business have been greedy with their profit margins.

  40. OzzyBreadWinner on

    I’m at that Main Street Marijuana store all the time and I went in once and asked why the prices were still so high. He told me the usual spiel…but the truth is, the interest was in keeping the prices arbitrarily high for as long as possible in order to maximize profits. Now that Oregon has legalized it…with the supply kicking up too…expect prices to be dirt cheap. Real profits in recreational marijuana will come from the merchandise associated with it, not from the plant itself. Oregon will probably start out with prices like $10-$15 a gram…if that. Some have projected as low as $5 a gram without a possible markup. This is compared to Washington where they were literally robbing the populace by charging…$30-$40 a gram at first. People just got a lot less rich…and I’m glad for it. They were greedy…I hope they shut down because the taxes in Washington are too exorbitant for them to assume.

    Also, give me a damn job.

    A day or two before the store opened, I swung by and talked to who was probably the main financier of the operation. I asked him when he expected his store’s product to run out and he said “never”. I just laughed. He didn’t even know his own business…who are these clowns that are running this? Glad they’re getting their margins halved, if not quartered. Folks are damn greedy lol.

  41. nicksgolf " Day on the Range" on

    In Pueblo area there are stores that are still just medical, in fact there are more that are just medical than one’s that cater to both. As for the prices we see prices about half for them medical when compared to the recreational prices and less tax as well!

  42. Yeah like banning edibles and Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial candidate already calling for repeal isn’t a Colorado fuckup ?

  43. I just wont buy anything from a store until its at least close to street price. $20 a gram is 2x what I pay now form my 2nd source, I pay $25 for 3.7 form my main and its fucking fire! Leave it to WA to fuck it all up. Colorado seems to be doing just fine and has been for quite some time now. I get the laws, its not your fault but I personally wont pay twice the street price when honestly its just as easy to procure. Now like 15 a gram for some super fire….ok, not all the time but ya I would pay it. $10 a gram (the correct price btw) I would perchance only from the store. I hope to see you next year I guess…=-( And I was so excited when the stores opened, what a disaster!

  44. No, I was referring to your comment about “a lot has changed…”
    However, as I understand the rules in Colorado, if the store isn’t keeping separate records for MMJ and recreational, they can only sell cannabis under the recreational rules.

  45. We’ll just have to see what course the politicians appear to be taking during the 2015 legislative session. I don’t like the “fold medical into I-502” comments I’ve read recently, yet, I still maintain that these are merely hot issue trial balloons floated so they won’t get caught flat-footed at town halls like they were the last time. As long as the states cards remain on the table, thousands of patients with pitch-forks can help shape Washington’s medical regulatory policy. A lot has changed since their last session.

  46. At least Colorado separated the regulatory control of cannabis from alcohol. Given the direction Washington seems to be going, the state will lump MMJ with recreational and have the LCB manage both. Cannabis should be regulated by its own agency, and MMJ should not be regulated the same way recreational is. At the bare minimum, MMJ should be separated from recreational and be regulated by the Washington State Department of Health.

  47. I hope your meaning isn’t that a Colorado store owner can chose not to sell to a medical patient? I’m sure I’m reading that wrong. Thanks

  48. David, It sounds like they’re describing a party store where medical patients are shoved between a wall. That doesn’t sound like a very pleasant experience for people who are sick or not feeling very weli. I don’t see the benefit of Washington’s patient community emulating Colorado. It’s my hope that a better solution can be found.

  49. Recreational buyers in Colorado must purchase from former medical marijuana stores. Due to heavy backlash new retail license’s have recently been issued for new non medical retail stores.

  50. David , when I read that one of the top state management officials at the WLCB once called medical marijuana “a joke” I knew then Washington was in for a rough ride opening it’s new stores
    Is it any wonder the WLCB
    bungled the new rec store openings? I’m with you. Washington should dump the WLCB ASAP.

  51. Sarijuana- Cannabis stores in Colorado are not required to sell both.

    From the Denver Post, January 3, 2014:

    “Until July (2014), the only people who (could) apply to open a recreational marijuana store were those who (were) already licensed to run a medical-marijuana business. The earliest newcomers can open up shop is Oct. 1, 2014.

    “There have actually been very few applications for a total conversion. Most stores are going recreational while keeping their medical sides, too. In Denver, if the stores agree only to sell to medical-marijuana patients over 21, it’s as simple as just keeping the books separate. Stores can also have an all-ages medical-marijuana side and a 21-and-over recreational marijuana side, so long as they build a wall between the two sides.”

  52. Actually, I agree that MMJ and recreational cannabis should be regulated separately. However, I don’t think the WLCB should handle either.

  53. Holy cow! Are all medical dispensaries like that in CO? Do medical dispensaries HAVE to sell recreational too? If so, that sucks. If not, MMJ patients have a choice to not shop at such a store?

  54. . I support Washington’s new recreational Marijuana retail stores. I just want them to remain separate entities to the medical dispensaries. I don’t want to see them turned into the garishly commercialized tourist shops I recently witnessed on a recent trip to Colorao. I want Washington politicians to seriously take Colorado into consideration before implementing a similarly flawed highly commercialized regulatory scheme upon Washington’s currently clean, well operated, minimally commercialized medical marijuana dispensaries. That’s all.

  55. Redneck party stores? I know quite a few people in CO, and I sure haven’t heard this complaint, or many other complaints, I might add. Please ‘splain to me?

  56. A cartridge actually lasts an impressively long time. Or at least it seems to while my heads up in the clouds.

  57. I agree with many of your points except in regards to becoming like Colorado. It’s not the backroom/ owners I’m concerned about rather , sick patients having reasonable access (as I’m sure you are too). Colorado simply switched from Medical to retail without regard to it’s patients in my opinion. Yeah they get charged a lower tax rate and yes they claim medical prices are slightly lower. They can tell that to the disabled 68 year old woman in a wheel-chair who now has to wait in a long line with a bunch of Texas kegger’s up for the weekend, while they sniff every jar in the store. It’s simply not a good system for medical patients at all.

  58. Recreational legalization. At least in Washington our medical dispensaries (at least until summer 2015 when the suits return to Olympia) still remain stand alone medical business’s. And given the huge voters remorse among those in the medical marijuana community, they still might have a chance to remain the fiercely independent business we know and love here in Washington. Only time will tell (and money and lobbying) Bottom line: We do not want our medical dispensaries morphed into redneck party stores as has happened in Colorado.

  59. As a Western Washingtonian I don’t believe that Medical marijuana dispensaries and retail stores should have to be an either/ or decision. Why is this? WA. Medical dispensaries, although unregulated have been doing a better job in my opinion than the regulated retail stores have at this juncture. I pay taxes on my medical purchases too just like rec customers. Perhaps it’s nothing more than unmitigated greed on the part of some retail marijuana licence holder’s ( who are still unprepared after 18 months. Washington’s chronic pain /cancer/ MS / patients shouldn’t be thrown under the bus.

  60. I’m with you on preventing the WLCB from screwing with MMJ. Unfortunately they have a reputation for being rather pig headed in the way they conducting themselves. Personally, I don’t think the WLCB has any business regulating anything medical. Washington should follow Colorado’s lead and create an agency that is exclusively responsible for cannabis.

  61. So, 1/4 gram at 35% comes down to about a 7% gram -tht sounds about right.But with all the technology and processing involved, not a bad deal. I have no idea how long a cartridge should last.

  62. I just purchased a 250 mg “Bubba OG” (Indica) Open Vape cartridge from the Seattle dispensary I use downstairs. It cost $35. here’s the breakdown on the back packaging (quite nice Btw) CBD: 50mg 10% / THC 175mg 35% / THCV 5mg 1% / CBG7.5mg 1.5% / CBC 10mg 2% /

  63. The suits in Olympia remember well the huge number of angry dispensary patients with pitch-forks they unexpectedly had to contend with state wide, the last time they tried to stick their political fingers into Washington’s medical dispensary pie. Washington’s medical marijuana patients collectively represent a huge voting constituency and I can assure you we will not watch Olympia destroy our medical access without a political knife-fight. It’s a fight they simply walked away from the last time. Here is a related article released January 2014 http://www.businessinsider.com/legalization-could-hurt-medical-marijuana-in-washington-2014-1

  64. MMJ dispensaries are not require to comply with the same regulations as I502 businesses. Which means they don’t incur anywhere near the costs an I502 businesses does. Mark my words, once the WLCB is done with the I502 folks, you can bet they’ll come after the MMJ dispensaries. Most likely they will put every one of them out of business. A sad day indeed, but one that is in our future unless Americans for Safe Access and others of the same bent can convince the governing bodies of our fine state to do otherwise.

  65. Have you ever owned your own business?
    Do you know what the keystone markup is at the producer, processor, or retail level?
    Do you know what costs are to comply with the WLCB requirements for background checks?
    Do you know what it costs to install and maintain the level of security, including CCTV, required by the WLCB?
    Do you know what the cost of labor is for a retail cannabis business?
    Do you know what the cost of facilities per square foot are for any cannabis business in Washington?
    Do you know what the cost of insurance is for any cannabis business in Washington?
    What do you believe to be a “reasonable” NPBTI for any business to be?
    If you think you can offer a quality product to the retail customer, why don’t you open your own store?

  66. I live in Seattle . And I purchase from a state unregulated medical dispensary. To date, I’ve never paid more than $5- $8 a gram, top shelf. As in California, there are hundreds of medical dispensaries located in Pugetopolis. The main differences between our two states is that California kept prohibition in place after 2010 , whereas Washington legalized in 2012.

  67. All I know is WWa has called shots for a long time while people struggle to get access here in EWa. Now most of is fact our city’s are conservitive and most work for gov here so they stay away from speaking about it. Medical and 502 people are now at war and I’m losing respect for those pushing these two together. Sure medical has been taken advantage of at times but for us medical people that just found this med I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. I don’t smoke it and neither does most middle aged women here where I live. This is what I got for speaking out. http://bearingarms.com/got-a-state-medical-marijuana-card-youve-just-given-the-government-an-excuse-to-come-for-your-guns/?fb_comment_id=fbc_250535125126479_596496_250538745126117

    So yes, if they get rid of medical I expect these stores to offer me fresh leaves to juice everyday and salves . My leaves are about a $1 a day and I make all my own meds. Until this new law can offer me that I’ll take care of myself. And if my gun rights are taken away then I want to know, are retail stores going to check people’s records on gun status ? Hardly.

  68. Come on Washington. Calif. is $30-$38 per 1/8th of top drawer and wholesalers and retailers ARE making money.

  69. Regardless of which state we’re discussing, it’s always about the money!

    I understand the costs related to opening and operating a dispensary along with sustaining the quality of their products, but surely that profit margin doesn’t require a 4x the street price bottom line per gram. Edibles are becoming a big item, but the cost for those has skyrocketed this year to the point of outright absurdity. $12 for a cookie, seriously?!
    While I’m glad these facilities are in operation and appreciate the consistent quality of their offerings, this still doesn’t justify their pricing. What they’re doing is slowly forcing patients back to the streets for their medication, and that’s never a good thing.

    We beat up on the greedy pharmaceutical corporations, and rightfully so in many instances, but the dispensaries seem to be following suit. There needs to be some state oversight regarding the price ceiling, and while they’re at it some reasonable adjustment of the tax rate for dispensaries.

  70. The other significant notable thing about this story is that the $20 weed is in the 6% or 7% THC range, whereas the $30 to $38 weed is in the 18% to 25% range, not the same product at all.

  71. With the current security and testing requirements, along with a 50 to 75% tax rate on retail cannabis in Washington, a $5 per gram retail price is a pipe dream. Put the pipe down and do the math. $5 a gram is more likely to be a wholesale price, even in Oregon.

  72. yabba daba do ya on

    colorado is not more ideal! 35 % tax rate will keep prices extremely high. I live in colorado and the black market is way cheaper. Greedy dispensaries but then again think of all the taxes they pay.. JUST GROW YOUR OWN.. it is not that difficult

  73. I’ve heard of no such tightening. Nothing can happen legally until the legislature returns next year. And they’ve passed on regulating dispensaries for 16 years.

  74. Greg, I live above a Seattle dispensary. Only California has a more open medical marijuana system than does. Washington. There was an excellent article in this blog some weeks ago explaining Washington and California’s open provisional medical marijuana laws.

  75. @David,
    Washington state’s unregulated medical market, does not mean access is unregulated, it is highly restricted compared to many other states. In fact they are currently tightening access , most likely to push patients into the rec market where they make a lot of monies…

  76. It’s nice having a choice. One of only two so far. Colorado misguidedly gave up it’s regulated medical marijuana system for retail stores, something we didn’t want to see happen in Washington’s unregulated medical dispensaries where prices are much lower and there are more locations and product for sale.16 years without State interference is a good thing.

  77. Sadly, recent polling data released for Oregon shows only 44% of Oregonians in favor of ending marijuana prohibition. The strongest demographic in support of passage are 18-34 year olds, who traditionally don’t vote in mid-term elections. The odds right now point to a loss for legalization which would make it the second defeat for a legalization measure.

  78. if Oregon goes to $5 a gram, the cross state border trafficking will be huge. WA will lose tens of millions in taxes and deserve it.

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