Marijuana buying limits advised by A64 task force could send prices sky high, attorney says
Why is this comparison so off-base?
"There are 1,920 ounces in an average keg of beer, which is the equivalent of 160 cans of beer," Edson points out. "Put 160 cans of beer on one side of a table and put a quarter-bag of weed on the other and you can see how crazy that is."
Another way of demonstrating the disparity: Invite someone to drink 160 cans of beer as another person consumes the quarter ounce, then wait to see which of them winds up in a hospital.
Beyond this argument, however, Edson says "I'm concerned the industry is trying to recreate Amsterdam, where you can only buy one or two grams at a time, and they cost $10 to $25 a gram."
Limits would translate to price hikes? No doubt about it, Edson believes. "There are some people in the industry who'd like to see prices go back up. Right now, our prices in Colorado are half as much as the rest of the country, practically, including Oregon and California. But if you cap purchases at a quarter, there would be no more bulk-purchase discounts or deals, and we'd be getting close to the kinds of prices you find in Amsterdam."
To Edson, the task force's recommendation suggests that "there's not a lot of consumer representation in this process. Can you imagine if, all of a sudden, there was a demand that you cap your alcohol purchases at a six pack of beer? That, to me, is a lot closer than the keg argument. And yet that's what they want us to do."
Of course, the legislature doesn't have to impose a purchase limit, but given the short time frame lawmakers have to operate, most observers expect the majority of the task force's recommendations will be accepted. And that, in Edson's view, would be a bad thing in this case.
"Options are good, and competition is good," he maintains, adding, "I'm still having trouble absorbing the idea that the good guys who were fighting these battles are talking in the same kind of language that before they would have mocked."
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana tourism isn't main reason to let out-of-staters buy pot, says task force member."