Washington State Prepares for Marijuana Stores
I-502 marijuana stores are preparing to open up on July 8th, 2014 in Washington state. What stores will open on that date will depend on a lottery to be drawn on July 7th, 2014. There is a concern among the stores that they may run out of marijuana within a few days. The state has licensed grow operations and processors in this state earlier this year, but it is unclear what the demand will be for the product. It is possible that after the novelty wears off that users of cannabis will still prefer to buy the drug on the black market for cheaper rates. It is unknown how prosecutors will react to black market or gray market operations. Prosecuting Attorneys represent the state, after all, and the state has a vested interest in having its monopoly enforced.
It is unknown exactly what the price of marijuana will be in the state-approved stores. Historically, in medical cannabis dispensaries in Washington, the price has been about $10 or $15 per gram. Initially the market (and supply and demand) will support a higher price for marijuana stores for recreational users. However, it seems that many stores are thinking long term and are not trying to develop a reputation as “gouging” customers in the early days of decriminalization..