As unbelievable as this seems Washington is experiencing a marijuana glut. With all the hoopla about legalized marijuana one would expect weed to be flying off the shelves like hotcakes. But that is not happening and the state has a 45,000 pound weed surplus. How is that possible?
Well in Washington you can legally grow marijuana outdoors, something not allowed in Colorado. Eastern Washington has a warm and dry climate during the summer that is known for growing apples, wine grapes and now has produced a bumper crop of recreational marijuana.
Another factor is the still unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington. Without having to charge taxes like the state licensed marijuana retail stores they can provide the same product at much lower prices.
This situation is likely to change this legislative session in Olympia. At the current time it’s hard to see how this will go down. There are 2 bills floating around and it is likely that a compromise bill will be produced. The ideas range from a total ban on dispensaries to licensing them like the states retail stores or allowing them to sell concentrates and medibles but no smokeable bud.
Meanwhile the recreational marijuana industry is crying the blues. Prices have dropped to $700 – 800 a pound which is below the cost of production. Some growers are already losing their shirt and some are facing bankruptcy. Retailers are saying they cant make any money and the state needs to lower the taxes they are required to pay and eliminate the dispensaries for them to stay afloat.
There’s Too Much Weed In Washington State
There is likely to be a big shakeout in the state and already growers from other states are seeing an opportunity to get in the weed business for pennies on the dollar.
The big losers in all this may be the medical marijuana patients who rely on the lower prices dispensaries offer. Washington’s medical marijuana law allows patients to have 15 plants and possess 1.25 pounds but not everyone is physically able to grow. These limits will very likely be lowered this session though. One bill allows for 6 plants for everyone medical or recreational and the other bill allows for none. So while big money fights this out the losers are likely to be the ones that can afford it the least.
“Instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by forcing medical marijuana into the adult-use program, policymakers should be adopting a regulatory framework that fully implements the state’s 16-year-old medical use law, thereby better protecting and preserving the needs of patients,” said Kari Boiter, Washington state coordinator for Americans for Safe Access, an organization that advocates on behalf of medical marijuana patients, in a prepared statement. http://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/2015/01/07/ww-potential-changes-to-washingtons-pot-laws-and-how-other-states-laws-are-working