Saturday, July 5, 2014

Washington Prepares to Launch Recreational Marijuana Industry

Borderland Beat  

When it came to picking a spot for their marijuana shop, a group of entrepreneurs with business backgrounds didn’t consider Seattle, Washington’s biggest city and home to a thriving culture of recreational cannabis use.

The guys behind Main Street Marijuana instead set their sights south. They chose Vancouver, in large part because of its easy access to Portland, another West Coast city with affection for high quality pot.

Oregonians will get the chance to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana in November, but practically speaking, access to legal cannabis begins next week when Washington becomes the second state in the country to launch a regulated recreational marijuana market.

The Washington Liquor Control Board, which oversees recreational marijuana facilities, on Monday plans to issue permits to an estimated 20 recreational marijuana retailers statewide. The following day, one of Vancouver’s first marijuana shops will open in a Main Street storefront, a prime spot managers Ramsey Hamide, 35, and Christopher Stipe, 31, chose for its proximity to Portland.

“Oregon is going to be a great neighbor to have,” said Stipe, as contractors bustled around the former jewelry store installing security and coating the windows with opaque coverings so marijuana can’t be seen from the street. “We’re off the freeway. Hopefully, we’ll get people coming into Oregon from out of state. I think tourists will want to check it out.”

The state’s recreational marijuana program, approved by Washington voters in 2012, isn’t headed for a smooth start. Retailers say inventory will be low, prompting at least one shop to consider limiting sales to a few grams per consumer instead of the one ounce allowed under Washington law. Extremely popular consumer products, such as marijuana-infused cookies and other sweets, as well as potent marijuana oils and other concentrates, won’t be in stock at first, as the state continues to process licenses for those businesses.

“I think the stores will definitely be able to open,” said Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director of the ACLU of Washington and the primary drafter of Initiative 502, the state’s recreational marijuana law. “How long they will be able to keep supply on the shelves is a really important question.
“There may be outages from time to time,” she said. “It will be a little rough in the beginning.”

Holcomb said Washington officials didn’t anticipate the flood of applications they got for producer, processor and retailer licenses. She said they estimated several hundred but ended up with 7,000 -- and only 18 staffers to process them.

The Washington Liquor Control Board so far has licensed 16 marijuana growers that are market ready. All of their product must be harvested, dried and tested for mold, mildew and pesticides, as well as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol at a state-certified lab. The state so far has licensed two marijuana testing labs.

Growers themselves are a factor in the low supply, she said. After decades of operating on the black market, Washington’s pot growers find themselves adjusting to tight state regulation and oversight. The learning curve, said Holcomb, is steep.

“A lot of the producers weren’t ready for final inspection,” said Holcomb. “These are people who had been growing in their basement, backyard and farmland without having to meet the requirements for business licensing.”

Brian Stroh, 44, owner of CannaMan Farms, a licensed marijuana grower in Vancouver, said he expects to have up to six pounds ready for sale by the end of next week. He said testing the product, a process that takes five days, adds to the delay in getting the product onto store shelves.

“There hasn’t been enough time,” said Stroh, who came to the marijuana industry after two decades in finance. “There were not enough producers licensed early enough to support the stores.”
He gets about a half-dozen calls daily from retailers searching for inventory.

His response: “I don’t have any product.”


Eventually, he expects to produce between 20 and 30 pounds of cannabis a month.

Under Washington law, anyone 21 and older can buy up to an ounce of marijuana. For now, supply is so tight Stroh’s packaging his cannabis by the gram so shop owners can more easily sell smaller amounts.

Brian Budz, 40, owner of New Vansterdam, located at 6515 East Mill Plain Boulevard, plans to cap how much cannabis his customers can purchase until the inventory stabilizes.

“We want people to be able to come in and have some fun, but we are probably not going to let anyone have the maximum of an ounce,” said Budz, who expects to be licensed Monday but won’t open until next Friday. (And yes, Budz is his real name.)

“That would clean us out pretty quickly,” he said.

At Main Street Marijuana, where shop managers said they will aim for a high-end crowd that includes tourists, Stipe expects to sell marijuana for between $12 and $15 a gram. Some estimates are as high as $25 a gram at other outlets. Marijuana sells for between $5 to $10 on the black market in the Portland area.

Hamide said Washington’s marijuana shops, stocked with state-regulated and tested cannabis, have a “serious advantage” over the black market.

“It you want cheap weed, you can go to the local dealer,” he said.

That’s what some Oregonians say they’ll continue to do until Washington’s prices come down.
Russ Belville, who hosts a Portland-based talk radio show about marijuana policy and culture, said Washington’s marijuana prices will discourage recreational users from heading north to buy it.

Regular recreational cannabis users in Portland already have cheaper sources for pot.

“I don’t see anyone from Portland beating a path to Vancouver to pay $25 a gram,” he said. “Even at $12 a gram it’s going to be difficult.”

Source:  The Oregonian 

40 comments:

  1. My comments never get approved why is that?????????????????? Att tu madre

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  2. Weed got on my nerves back then everybody though weed was crack now those losers hypocrites are all potheads talking about they know more about weed than me

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  3. I think weed is for retards who can't let go

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  4. Desde tricities Washington cavronas

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  5. Desde prosser washington!! Aqui ya tenemos liciencias medicas para consumir y sembrar para uso personal y medico desde hace varios anos atras

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    1. Saludos bro.. De pasco Washington

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  6. Weed should only be used for cancer patients and people with real diseases not this pussy ass my back hurts lame asses

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    1. You sound like a pussy your self!

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    2. Yea doesn't he. Bud grows naturally and has no chemicals added unlike every other drug. Weed should b legal throughout the world. Alcohol is what should be outlawed but it can't cuz we all know how that went during prohibition. So stop being pussy's and talkin bad bout weed. If u don't like it then don't do it

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  7. Free Dr. Mireles!!!

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  8. Just great! That's what the great Northwest region of the U.S. needs to be known for: the capital of marijuana trafficking and potheads. That's something Washingtonians and Oregonians really should be proud of. I hope it don't rain on their parade!

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  9. I am mexican that lives in so cal and all my life I have witnessed my numbers go up to the point we now own most real estate making us the richest mexicans in the usa all due to americans always getting high and looking for that new high, all raza lets keep these putos high while we take their jobs and reclaim our tierra,

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    1. Hell yeah let's keep serving this feens!!!viva Mexico!!

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    2. So mexicans used to own california? Frkn idiot.

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    3. I like youre thinking

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    4. Shut up about mexicans taking over so cal. Iam mexican and the rich white people and and asians control real estate in so cal. Mexicans are way behind in so cal. Unless you are talking about the ghetto places then yes i see your point!! maybe you're the idiot that's getting too damn high!!!

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  10. legalizing drug addiction for greed is NOT going to cure anything to people who just want to smoke some; "concessionaries" will need more customers, to make more sales, with impunity.
    --the way things are going, we'll have to see that behind this crude attempt at socializing drugaddiction, is another attempt to finish the destruction of the US middle class...
    --who will have no other interest than having another joint and then cross the gateway into something that gives a better high all along with a harder to shake addiction like Horse, Chiva, coke, perico, snuff, crack or krokodile, all of which are HARDER TO GIVE UP.
    --i have quit smoking cigarrettes, like i had a few times before, without problems, only this time i have been experiencing WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS like my stomach is churning all day long for the last five or six months, demanding a smoke, with a murderous hunger like i never felt before...
    --i can only feel for the drug addicted, of the future, who did'n have to fall into any of this bullshit of legalization for the impunity of the greedy pushers who only care about their customer's money.
    --if drugs are so good and inoffensive, why don't the pushers keep them for themselves?
    --is it perhaps that the addicted's money is much better than the drugs?
    --even the poorest and least capable of resisting addiction are better as a penny, nickel or dime a day customers than a clean person with higher and "uppity and snobbish" aspirations of a better living, a better education, for themselves, and maybe for their children...
    --that would be communist or socialist or worse, real christian, which to the pharisee and the philistines, and especially the lost tribe, that only went underground to strike us more often in the pocket, where it counts...
    --if drugs are really a social need, they should be as free as the air we breath, which of course is in the process of privatization too, like water and land...and the internet, that the people's al gore invented for the people...

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  11. 2:59 now that your comment was posted we know why they never post your comments, you have nothing on the roof, for you i dedicate this song from jenny rivera's joyas prestadas, from el shaka, vas y chingas a tu madre! enjoy it on youtube...

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  12. 9:18 am... you make a very good point. But I live in Texas and all your younger raza is on ice and too paranoid to come outside the house.

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  13. 8:49, if your back hurts so much, do you smoke your grifa outta your ass?
    but you are right, for the addicted, medicinal grifa should be there, and according to me, for free, who says grifa should be free? and same with any other drugs, now with thecash incentives, there comes the "need" to addict more customers, for the benefit of the greedy politicians who have been taking the lion's share of the drug business, the customary pushers who have been forking the dead and the imprisoned, will still be left holding the shitty end of the stick, with bad rap sheets of arrests for drug trafficking, gangbanging, and we the poor broke asses will have put the dead too...
    fuck legaization for profit and impunity, illegal grifa rules, at any rate anyway, being legal has never been the people's goal, but prissy pinko asses don't know about that, and never will...

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  14. July 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM
    "all raza lets keep these putos high while we take their jobs and reclaim our tierra"
    Listen to la raza here,,in the USA?Here is why Mexicans get a bad name?Because of hateful pricks like you.So clowns like you want the US to turn into Mexico?You gotta love em,,,notttttt..

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  15. Saludos de TACOMA ciudad de los changos peludos ja ja ja

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  16. Er, maybe someone should tell them if they try and export to the US from Canada, they'll catch a RICO.

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  17. Weed should be used as someone sees fit, not just for what someone deems important, it is a great medicine and it hurts no one, the only thing it shouldnt be used for is for profit. It can benefit everyone in so many ways, if it was legalized people could grow it and have enough for their needs

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  18. I got fiiiive on it!!!

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  19. The silly potheads will soon find out who runs the dope business, they're going to be paying protection big time to the narcos.

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  20. This is getting stupid, the system needs to be fixed. High prices Will deter consumers to the black market. Also the testing is bogus because they only test a small portion. The growers have to use fungicide and pesticides....There is too much Money to loose, if the crop gets infested. If you want to get high,just grow your own. The savings alone will make the recreational a true believer.

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  21. Weed unites people so lets all smoke it!!smo!

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  22. The guys in the first picture need to put on sunglasses. It's obvious the sunlight is causing them some extreme buzzkill.

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  23. The racist comments against whites on here are fuckin disgusting and continue to be allowed.
    With Mexicans like the ones advertized on here you are not doing them any favors allowing racist comments in all the time?I cannot remember seeing overt racism towards Mexicans on BB,yet Mexican racism?All the time....

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  24. at 9:18 AM
    "all raza lets keep these putos high while we take their jobs and reclaim our tierra"

    Very constructive there Mr Mexican dude,very good for getting along with each other,,pobre Mexicans,,always the victim.....Never the bad guy...My comment is inane and off topic hence will not be published as it also is distastefully true.
    Is it not mr moderator?Who cares its still the truth...

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  25. There is no racist comments here all thruth the americanized way in the usa has always been about getting high,working for less and getting paid more I have been in the blue collar trade my whole life and witnessed it go mexican labor due to american or americanized people getting high causing them to screw up in their jobs and losing it to a mexican, blue collar jobs pay far more and in demand more than white collar that's why I see a lot of mexicans in los angeles owning homes worth more than 500000 dollars why be in denial that usa does not have a drug addiction problem

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  26. Desde yakima bueyes.

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  27. Saludos de F.W. asi que no salgan con sus chingaderas que los tumbamos putos!!!!!

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  28. proof that mexicans are as smart as the chinese, from their low pay menial jobs, them there mexicans obtain $500 000.00 dollar houses...
    rest my case!

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  29. @3:52 and @3:59 you always with the two shot derringer, putting down the mexicans with your patronizing and slanted comments in defense of white people nobody s eventalking about, with the honorific mention that what can you expect from "mexicans" but reverse discrimination and racism, --maybe we should all forgive and forget just to make all the clowns in the world happy...

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