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Marijuana: Understanding the recreational pot "shortage"

Categories: Marijuana

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Marijuana grows on trees, but some newly minted Colorado recreational centers faced a shortages less than a week after opening -- even though medical dispensary shelves remain stocked. As a result, several retail stores, including the high-profile 3D Cannabis Center, have voiced concerns that they won't be able to keep filling the bowls of recreational tokers.

Though demand is high, the shortage isn't necessarily due just to tourists and herb-hungry locals pilfering pot by the pound from the shelves.

Instead, the shortage was likely caused before sales could even begin, thanks to a quick timetable for centers going through the recreational-sales process and a limited number of plants shops were able to transfer over to the recreational side.

Unlike medical marijuana, which sprang up as an industry in Colorado before there were even laws to govern it at the local and state levels, recreational pot has been strictly regulated from the beginning. Nothing could happen without a license. That meant the earliest recreational grows could be up and running was the last week of December, when the state issued the first licenses.

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Current rules restrict centers to transferring 15 percent of their entire medical inventory to recreational sales -- including not just smokable herb, but everything from hash and edibles to clones and plants in various stages of development. Furthermore, this transfer is only allowed once.

Under these regulations, a large medical center serving up to 500 patients would be able to transfer about 450 plants total. Recreational centers are currently only allowed to purchase 30 percent of their supply from someone other than their designated retail cultivating facility until the rules keeping vertical integration in place are dropped in October.

Although several activists have argued that the 15 percent conversion amounts to a theft of patient medicine, the state doesn't see it that way. Not only were the shops allowed to bring their medical inventory back up to 100 percent immediately after the transfer by cloning new plants and purchasing cannabis wholesale, but the plants being grown in a medical marijuana center technically don't belong to the patients to begin with.

We asked the Marijuana Enforcement Division for clarification on just who actually "owns" the plants being grown at a medical marijuana facility. Here's the response we received: "Primary center designations are used solely by the Marijuana Enforcement Division to calculate the number of plants a Medical Marijuana Center is authorized to cultivate at all of its associated Optional Premises Cultivation Operations."

So signing a shop up as your primary center doesn't mean it's growing plants for you. Rather, the MED says each patient simply adds to the number of plants the store can legally grow -- which makes some sense. After all, a patient doesn't hand over six plants to a dispensary when he signs them up as a primary center, nor can he walk out with six plants when he drops a center without having to buy it two ounces at a time.

Continue for more about the recreational pot "shortage."



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50 comments
Froward
Froward

the reefer mad "Regulators" never took into account just how many recreational users there are out there. thus under the regulations the growers cannot grow it fast enough. Coupled with the exorbitantly high tax rate. these two factors make the price of legal Weed the same (or higher) that the price on the black market.

mikenco
mikenco

for most of us the bottom line, it just doesn't make financial sense at least at this juncture to ditch our medical mmj cards and go mainstream. even at the old fee tier between the lower prices for "medical" products coupled with no taxes and substantial real world benefits for making a dispensary ones provider e.g the perks,...little wonder the state has seen a big bump in renewals recently of "red cards," it just makes financial sense. a annual doctor's visit thirty to forty bucks, fifteen for the new card. a single visit to pick up supplies pays for itself that quickly. things may well change in the near future and to be honest I do expect prices to go down for the recreational side but still until that time comes for those of us who have had or still have a red card now is not the time to switch things up. fyi as of now the average renewal time from when you mail your paperwork in and actually get a license back in the mail is longer than its been in some time. now it is averaging at 6-7 weeks so don't wait, on day 59 prior to your medical lic. expiration date send in the new papers so you don't get stuck in limbo because you've run out, your old lic is expired and your new one has not arrived from the state. plan for the worst hope for the best.

Anthony Santini
Anthony Santini

A shortage my exist because dispensaries had an opportunity to move some of their inventory from medical to recreational. More than likely edibles will be the real shortage. No need to complain, the places experiencing a shortage of cannabis are just short for recreational not medical.

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

Know who isn't running short?? Smart dispensaries...like Altitude the Dispensary which got their second shop on South Federal up and running. There won't be a real shortage, because the shops are catching up city wide meeting the regulations...there might be shops who've been inundated because they were the first to open...but no fucking shortage over all.

Matt Chu
Matt Chu

Tourists Mike, thats who will pay those prices.

Jeff Hulsing
Jeff Hulsing

Filthy greedy pricks who supported vertical integration are to blame for this

Mozart99
Mozart99

The government is using every bureaucratic hurdle it can manage to delay implementation of the peoples' will.

Ted Peterson
Ted Peterson

This isn't a surprise to anyone whose been paying attention since 64 passed.

Glen Kelley
Glen Kelley

One light, two fans, bag of fox farms, some magic beans, problem solved. Thanks A-64! Get unregulated bitches.

Priya Butani Nye
Priya Butani Nye

Where's my world's smallest violin so I ca play "My Heart Bleeds for Them?" Enough puleeeese about pot, WW. This wasn't forseeable? Comeon..........

Michael Morales
Michael Morales

Hahahahahahahahah why the Fuck would you buy a "recreational" $300 oz when local growers still have em for $100. $17 grams??? lmfao. the prices are nuts and the people paying are even fuckin crazier. lol the states making a bunch of money to spend on shit we don't need. are people are over paying to make that happen.... I pitty da foo..... recreational= crazy as Fuck. #supportyourlocalgrower

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

Last herb shortage prior to Gov't involvement was summer of 1990. Thankfully the black market is thriving along side this "legalization"! And thanks to the ridiculous "sin" tax, it will continue to thrive.

Rian Milehigh
Rian Milehigh

Its marketing 101. Basic promoting. There's no shortage, everyone is saying that so people will buy buy buy, increasing profits/sales faster. Growers harvest roughly every 2 months, and most are continuously harvesting in cycles. Dispensaries are just saying theres a shortage so they can sell as much as possible before the feds and DEA come and shut shit down.

Troy Rice
Troy Rice

This is worse than than the gas shortage in the 70's!

John LaCara
John LaCara

Well get some more a lot more cuz we ready to buy buy buy

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"Recreational centers are currently only allowed to purchase 30 percent of their supply from someone other than their designated retail cultivating facility"


30% of their ANNUAL gross sales, which means they could purchase as much as they need for and during the first few months of 2014, so long as they grew ~3 times that amount themselves during the rest of the year.


NO excuses for these contrived "shortages", other than to RAPE the customers for 2x to 3x times the regular pricing -- with the help of a compliant and clueless media.


                           GB$DCAAGB$DCD!


Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels are as Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels do!




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "Type 1 recreational centers can grow up to 3,600 plants at any one time. Type 2 centers can grow up to 6,000 plants, and Type 3 shops can cultivate up to 10,200 plants."


Mandatory MINIMUM Federal Prison sentence = 10 years

Maximum = Life!


You fools better pray to Jah that no Repuglycan takes office in The White House, or that they don't wrangle control of congress, ever again.



VerryFunney
VerryFunney

Once competition kicks in prices will drop. Right now they can charge whatever they want. In 1 year? Not so much. The public will take notice of the shops that took advantage for too long and they will go out of business. This happened in the medical side as well. I can get an 1/8th of very kind bud for $25 with my red card. When the shops first opened? Not so much. More like $40. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Froward ... utter nonsense, from a blithering know-nothing imbecile.


There is no real "shortage", just hype and propaganda used to fool morons like you into paying 2x - 3x the normal price.




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mozart99 ... the People's Will was STRICT REGULATION with MASSIVE TAXATION as promulgated by that festering turn A64 which idiots and fools like you voted for.


Bend over and receive THE FIST of REGULATION you begged for, sucker!

.

mikenco
mikenco

then why are you not only reading but posting in a marijuana specific section? kind of contradictory don't ya think? fyi regardless yours or anyone's position on the topic this is as much a historic moment as was the slow and eventual state by state demise of alcohol prohibition in this nation. what is happening here and in Washington state is history in the making and as such deserves to be front and center in this nation's news headlines far more than most topics.

mikenco
mikenco

I agree many of the quoted prices are nuts. thankfully though I not only pay less as an mmj patient/customer but I also get substantial perks from my dispensary in designating them as my provider. regular pricing for me $150-$190 per ounce (no different last week as the week before) PLUS with them as my provider I enjoy an annual credit of $200 to use at my discretion and a 10% discount on all purchases. there is no financial sense to changing over to "recreational" at this point in time, none whatsoever. to each their own seriously but for those of us who weren't born with silver spoons stick with your "red cards" at least for now. I expect prices and supply to level out by summer but that said even then I doubt recreational prices/costs will ever be below that of what medical card holders will pay.

UncleArthur
UncleArthur

Evidently a lot of people did in case you didn't notice the long lines. What do you have against recreational anyways? Maybe you're upset because prohibition won't do your dirty work for you anymore. Who died and left you in charge of who can consume weed and who can't?

Monkey
Monkey

@VerryFunney

White collar criminals learn from their mistakes. Price-fixing instead of price-wars will rule this market. Why reduce the value of your product through competition, when you can make an agreement with your competition to never fall below a certain price? Dumb people with no business sense started medical weed stores, and thought they could lowball their competition away. Now those people are bought and paid for by people who know the benefits of price-fixing over price-wars. Soon, there wont be much "competition" anyway, there will be monopolies, due to the fact that one corporation can own all the stores. All they have to do is call them a different name, and you'll believe it's owned by a different person/corporation. Thats how it works. Liquor store owners aren't allowed to do that, in fact, it's illegal, specifically to reduce monopolies. But the weed industry is ripe for corruption, with no laws preventing monopolies, and encouraging market manipulation because the State now gets a percentage of all sales. I guess they think stoners wont notice what's going on, and judging by your comment, they're right.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@UncleArthur A64 = a continuation of Criminal Prohibition in Colorado, with myriad Regulations and Massive Taxes added for fun!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@timebandit 



@stuka1  "I have better things to do than respond to your inane babblings [sic]."


Habitual Fail -- Repeat.


VerryFunney
VerryFunney

@Monkey @VerryFunney I don't consider $25 1/8th for kind bud 'price fixing'. This is far below street market value. Competition in an open market is responsilbe for this price.

timebandit
timebandit

@DonkeyHotay ...is what you are replying to, moron! FAILING AGAIN! hahahahahaha


Hope this helps though! Good luck

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... is for fools.

Q.E.D.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@VerryFunney <== has no idea what he's yammering about.


Thinks $25 makes him a Player ... LOL!



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