Washington's July 8 pot sale launch to spur long lines, high prices, growing pains?

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Washington State Liquor Control Board marijuana webpage
Those waiting to buy legal marijuana this July in Washington might be in line for a while.
Colorado just marked six months since the launch of legal recreational marijuana sales. Washington, for its part, is set to follow suit on July 8. But the state may experience some growing pains.

Of the 335 retail dispensaries awaiting approval in Washington, only about twenty are expected to obtain licenses by the state on July 7-- leaving the new shops just one day to stock and prepare for the weed-hungry stampede anticipated the next day.

This small glimmer of sunlight for stoners comes after a long course of delays in the enactment of State Initiative 502 -- the bill legalizing retail marijuana in Washington. However, many industry and regulation authorities expect high bud prices and shortages during the beginning of retail sales, similar to what Colorado went through earlier this year.

Washington's Liquor Control Board built a raft of regulation for a small flood of dispensary hopefuls when it should have constructed an ark for the storm of 2,000 applications it received. This tidal wave of wannabe pot businesses has resulted in a form of bureaucratic chaos that potential growers and dispensary owners are eager to see resolved.

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Sea of Green Farms website
Sea of Green Farms is one of the state-approved cannabis cultivation centers. Spokespersons recently told the Associated Press the company only has enough product for four or five retail shops.
The LCB had to enact a lottery system to fairly award licenses to the large number of eligible dispensary applicants. (Seattle is allotted 21 retail locations by the state and had over 400 applications.) After the shit show of reviewing potential dispensaries, 335 retail locations were set to receive licenses throughout the state, although the vast majority of those are still waiting for state inspection and approval to open.

Only 79 of 2,500-plus applicants for marijuana growing licenses have been approved by the LCB, and as of June 30, just two of those growers have submitted samples to a certified lab for testing -- something required in Washington before retail cannabis can hit the shelves.

The shortage of state-approved herb has created quite the bidding war. The Associated Press reported that recreational shops are paying upwards of $4,000 per pound due to the severe lack of lab-approved pot, and coupled with state taxes, the expensive wholesale price is expected to result in $25 grams and lines out the door to pay for it.

Colorado had 37 retail dispensaries up and running on January 1, the first day of recreational sales in the state -- eighteen in Denver alone. However, Colorado already had its toes in the water thanks to years of regulated medical marijuana centers. Washington essentially dove in head first; medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1998, but it was never regulated.

More from our Marijuana archive circa January 1: "Marijuana: Buying recreational pot in Denver."


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27 comments
Jay Baca
Jay Baca

Desarae- You weren't even born when the Westword came out or experienced the real, ' Pot Culture" of "My Times" pun intended, you are just the offspring of many who enjoy the, ' New Found Weed Freedoms" at the expense of our lobbying and jail time for well over a half century and before you celebrate this pretentious achievement understand that "WE" the people who started this movement came to a realization in the late 70's that legalization is actually a bad thing ( enjoy your secret file at the cop shop youngster) and as for the Westword- it is a great read and that's why they should share online more than just the , " Teen Weed Fascination" articles and moreover- what the hell is a pretty young lady like you smoking pot anyway all it does is make you happy, bitchy, tired and hungry. Their is more to life than sitting around at Denny's ordering your pancakes scrambled. :)

Desarae Nicole Buchanan
Desarae Nicole Buchanan

Actually they are better than high times and I personally like the weed articles... Maybe The Post is better for you :)

Ryan Wright
Ryan Wright

Gotta start somewhere WA ! Also, funny a lot of people don't care about whats going on in other states cause it doesn't affect them TODAY when it could affect the whole USA they live in soon .

Ryan Wright
Ryan Wright

I would be curious too . Has anyone told your story in the press ? Might be a worth while endeavor I would like to hear about it .

Bryan Moberg
Bryan Moberg

I don't see why it wouldn't, it went fine here in co

SeaDen
SeaDen

Washington State is completely incompetent at everything they do. Just look at the viaduct tunnel that is being laid underground, less than 1/4 of a mile from the Seattle fault (which runs through downtown Seattle). The drilling has stopped as the machine is broken and millions of dollars are being wasted every minute. This is all because the city council, in their cloistered committee hive mind ignored the will of the voters.


I guarantee this will be a cluster fuck.

Jay Baca
Jay Baca

OK- Westword, does this mean your going to post all of Washington's Pot problems for the next several weeks to come, all the Colorado stuff wore me out- Your FB page needs to post more like the paper reads instead of Pot as a main focus...your becoming a digital version of, ' High Times Magazine"

Bradley Branaman
Bradley Branaman

If it does not go smooth it will most likely be the result of ignorant people in charge doing what they do best!!! Geeeeze......

Charles Warner
Charles Warner

Whaa! Why can't Washington just get their shit together ? Wait...read that sentence again.

Rick Maes
Rick Maes

the Adams county DA admitted that I Was allowed 122 plants because I had patients.I only had 75

Rick Maes
Rick Maes

The government took my house 3 months ago for growing medical marijuana .Growing it not selling it.So if they took my house why don't they take Colorado's assets for making money from illegal drug money.Because they told the reason they took my house is because marijuana is illegal under federal law..

John Scruggs
John Scruggs

It has worked out fine here. No need to worry.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

lol.....they didn't have a medical marijuana program that had stores growing for patients that they could steal from (50-80 million?) like they did in CO.......good for them as they won't be sued like CO will. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jay Baca  ^^^ word ^^^

SeaDen
SeaDen

@DonkeyHotay No one reads the Seattle Weekly. The Stranger is the real free weekly in Seattle.

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