Fears of Business Bloodletting, Closures as Marijuana Prices Plummet in Washington State

By John Schroyer

Washington State’s recreational marijuana market is becoming an exemplar of capitalism at its simultaneous best and worst.

After battling a severe shortage of cannabis when retail sales launched in July, the state’s rec marijuana industry is now faced with a vast oversupply of growers and product.

As a result, recreational marijuana prices have plunged 40% from last summer until now, just two months after the first major harvest took place.

This has had a ripple effect across the state’s industry, giving rec shops more product to choose from for less, but also endangering scores of businesses.

Some could be forced to downsize significantly or even fold up shop completely. One store owner fears a massive wave of closures, saying he wouldn’t be surprised to see a 90% failure rate for the 370 licensed producers and processors in Washington.

“The script has been flipped from demand outpacing the supply to growers in the past few months having over-produced 10 times what’s being sold in retail stores,” said Ramsey Hamide, owner of the Main Street Marijuana rec shop in Vancouver, Washington.

He added that a lot of growers and processors are “absolutely scared to death.”

“I can name five or six farms that grew between 1,000 or 2,000 pounds, and they fully admit, ‘We’ve got 1,000 pounds sitting here we’re trying to sell right now,’” Hamide said.

Supply vs. Demand

Cannabis growers in Washington are getting desperate. So desperate that they keep dropping their prices, in the hopes of just being able to sell what they’ve harvested.

While that’s hurt growers, it has allowed stores like Main Street to load up on inexpensive cannabis.

“The last big purchase I made was at $6 a gram. The guy came back two days ago, said, ‘Would you want more at $4.50?’ I said, ‘I’ll take more at $3 a gram.’ And I bought another 10 pounds,” Hamide said in December. “(Growers have) been bringing us product for $1, $2 a gram.”

Todd Bratton, one of the co-owners of Longview Freedom Market in Washington, said his two rec shops’ retail prices have plummeted from $33.50 in July to between $12-$19 a gram in January.

“Instead of taking whatever you get, we’re able to sample some stuff…to make sure it’s the right stuff to put on our shelves,” Bratton said, adding that he’s very pleased with the situation but is also concerned for the livelihoods of many in the cultivation business.

In recent months, Bratton said, business has picked up to the point where both of his company’s rec shops are seeing an average of 100 customers a day. Contrast that with September, he said, when processors were bringing in pre-packaged cannabis that sold at a minimum of two grams at $55, and customers are much happier now.

“That killed us in the first month,” Bratton said.

Storm Coming for Cultivators

But what’s helping rec shops is hurting growers.

Life Gardens Chief Executive Officer Greta Carter, who’s been in the cultivation business since its legal inception last year in Washington, said she’s constantly reevaluating her business model to make sure her company is able to stay afloat.

“We’re meeting our forecasted goals right now, but we’re concerned about the ability to sustain that each month. It’s going to be a volatile market for a year, two years perhaps, before things stabilize,” Carter said. “Every day, I’m checking our expenses and where we can be cutting costs and where we can be efficient with our size, to just ensure that we can survive the storms that are ahead of us. Because it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.”

This is markedly different than the trends that played out in Colorado, the nation’s first recreational cannabis market. Prices there have been much more stable since adult-use sales began in January 2014, in part because the state approached the rec industry differently than Washington but also because it didn’t face the same supply and demand challenges.

The Washington Liquor Control Board, which oversees the state’s rec marijuana industry, has a small bit of good news for cultivators desperate to unload excess product – there are 23 more stores that could be open within a matter of days, said spokesman Brian Smith. That would represent a roughly 25% increase in the number of outlets, as there are 89 currently in operation,

Even so, that probably won’t prevent at least some growers from going out of business – which also happened in Colorado, even though the state didn’t deal with the same issues Washington is facing.

“Just because you grow it, doesn’t mean that everyone is going to want to buy it,” Smith said. “So not everyone’s going to make it in this market.”

Possible Help from MMJ Dispensaries?

Rec business owners hope the state Legislature passes regulations on the medical cannabis industry soon, which could also help alleviate some of the pressure on growers since there are hundreds of unlicensed MMJ dispensaries and growers scattered across Washington.

“I’m confident that will be resolved, but it will take a few months,” Carter said.

Either way, Bratton said he hopes that prices will stay where they’re at, for the sake of all involved – grower, vendor and customer alike.

“I don’t see why prices should (go back up). I think we’re at the price point we should be at,” Bratton said. “The growers who are going to last are going to be the ones who will be able to provide a quality product and make it work at that price with their business model.”

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

38 comments on “Fears of Business Bloodletting, Closures as Marijuana Prices Plummet in Washington State
  1. Steven North on

    The business model used by too many in the I-502 industry never looked at after tax (federal)profit and loss. It has now been over one year, since I first started explaining that you do not spend money you do not have. Since it is still illegal federally, this is a gamble. You gamble with disposable income. That which you can walk away from. As for taxes, which ever professional you chose to get you through, accuracy is important. When the engagement letter states, “I am preparing this based on information you supply and you are responsible for accuracy”, is a sure sign they do not have a clue.

    Reply
  2. Blair Wilson on

    So retailers are crying because they can’t jack people for $30 grams? I don’t feel sorry for them at all. Sounds like marketplace economics is kicking in. Watch out WA, sounds like they’ll be going after your right to grow yer own soon under some false pretense of danger….Anyone who would support this is a turncoat and only in it for the money. Vote with your dollars and remember that the fight to really free this plant is far from over.

    Reply
    • Mykel Jantzinski on

      I completely agree with Blair. I’m nearly 50 years old and even though I never expected to see these new legalization laws in my lifetime, I fear, what we will see in this countries future is a Monsanto/Cargil type of heavy handed supply/ demand and Scarcity tactics. I’ve been telling people since the late 1990’s that the only way to destroy the black market for mj is to have personal use growing laws. Along with “Heavy handed Big Bro” regulation. That is governed state by state. If you grow for yourself and its controlled and consumed within your domain. Each household should be open for random inspections and, you as the grower do not get a three strikes your out kinda deal. If you grow to much, if you cause a fire, if your children get a hold of it … Your through! The states would not get quite as much tax revenue, the mega growers will be put out of business and and small local recreation and Medicinal shops could still operate. Now, with all that said; the true reason we need to deregulate growing is so that farmers can start producing HEMP! Stoners are too damn busy pretending to Hate the corporate Man/$$machine all the while trying to make millions off of our right to enjoy natural medicine. We need reformation of HEMP for production laws … Get off the pot and into the fields of a truly sustainable crop that is not sending mixed messages to our youth.
      Thx, mj

      Reply
  3. Phil on

    We are opening one up in Anacortis ,Wa ( close to Canada, and also on border of a lot of islanders and local valley people.) Very friendly and eager staff. Hope to see yal soon if your in the neighborhood. 8630 marchspoint rd annacortis ,wa HIGH SOCIETY A REAL CLASSY JOINT. S.W.E.D.

    Reply
  4. John Kirkman on

    There’s always tons of mid grade outdoor around so don’t see what the story is here. Probably used a trim pro to “manicure” so stems and leaves and grown in the NW you can bet on fungicides and pesticides too e yuck..

    Reply
  5. nice on

    Love that these retail stores are getting product for $3 a gram and marking it up to 12 to 19. And the tax excuse is BS. You retails are the reason that i502 is failing, stop taking a short term profit view of the market and build relationships with quality growers and give your customers a quality product, not the cheapest you can find and mark up 400%.

    Reply
  6. Silverado on

    It sounds like what’s happening in the oil patch of our energy industry. Too much producing going on and not enough consuming happening. Kind of a form of cannabis deflation, so to speak. So what’s the cure for low prices?? Economics 101 says the answer to that is…low prices – they’ll cure themselves. The trouble with their whole setup is that they have a prohibitionist running things when in reality and as we can ALL see now, the right people for this job would have been a free market, Libertarian type who would naturally understand free and up and coming markets MUCH better than these anti-free-marketeers trying to have it their way, while pleading for more time, patience and money, I’m sure, so that their scheme can…”work.” Anyway, all this seems to me to be for naught as well, as last time I checked and last time I heard it was still against FEDERAL LAW to collect ANY taxes on ANY Schedule One substances, say for instance like cannabis. So between these market…unawares otherwise known as FAILURES and the head nuts here in the state of Washington participating in more & on-going Federal law breaking by collecting cannabis taxes, the future for their so called recreational scheme isn’t now looking so…bright.

    Reply
  7. heh. on

    Nice- you hit it the nail right on the head; the retailers need to stop the gouging!!! 150% markup LET ALONE 280% markup is more than ridiculous, it is highway robbery… If you the consumer do not know why your weed is so much more expensive than what you are used to paying, look no further than the retailers. They use a factor or 1.5x to 2.85x (150-280%) margin in their operating plans… Unbelievable.
    The massive amount of surplus of usable marijuana??? Yeah, all 14000+ lbs of it…
    It could all be sold at very reasonable prices (say 10$ per gram/same as medical market) even if all of the weight is outdoor/greenhouse. The only way that would occur however is if the retailer would purchase the product at 4$ per gram, while earning a net profit of 2$ per gram from the retail sale. WHY WOULD THEY THOUGH REALLY? ITS MUCH BETTER FOR THEM AND THEIR BUSINESS TO PUT THE SCREWS TO THOSE WHOM PROVIDE THE PRODUCT FOR THEIR REVENUE… I mean really??? I have inside knowledge from within this industry. I have been through the sales processes several times with several retailers (I am a part of a tier 3 licensed P&P). I am blown away that the legislators did not see the greed factor coming to a retailer near you. In fact, they were warned by none other than Mark Klieman himself (see his Botec White Paper). If they would not grow a pair by stepping up and running the retail end of this industry (as they did with liquor), this exact problem and therein industry implosion would occur. At this point, we may never know how great of an experiment could have been. Too many idiots making the final rules, followed by greedy retailers not giving a damn about the hand that feeds them. For those that can survive, make a list of the most greedy of the retailers and pass the word. We as a collective will not stand for it. The greedy bastards will be blacklisted eventually.

    Reply
  8. Doc Deadhead on

    The article is not quite complete.

    Yes, some of the growers are sitting on a thousand pounds BUT you have to remember they only have one crop a year.

    If I grew 3000 pounds a year I would certainly expect to sit on a large portion until others ‘over crop’ was consumed at stupid low prices.

    Proper planning is all that is required here for a profitable crop.

    Reply
  9. Nate on

    this is fantastic. it’s good to get these growing-pains out of the way so the industry can equalize. short-term supply&demand issues don’t destroy companies in developed markets.

    Reply
  10. Todd Bratton on

    We are not getting good MJ for $2/g. More like $5 at best, so we mark it up and tax it and it goes out the door for under $19 – I know making money sounds “greedy” but that’s he only way to stay in business.

    Reply
  11. Todd Bratton on

    We also have stuff sitting on the shelf that cost $6-$8 whole sale, so newer lower pricing can’t be put into place until the more expensive products are gone. In WA we can’t sell a product for less than we paid for it. It makes lowering prices tricky, but we’re on our way to $12-$15 top shelf max.

    Reply
  12. Firewater on

    This is actually very simple. Many retailers were gouged initially and couldn’t move expensive product. To make up for this shortfall, they’re now gouging growers. In parallel with all of this is the “medical” industry that is making rec more of a novelty than anything else. These prices are nuts. Collective grows are being shut down this year. Med dispensaries will have the opportunity to be folded under the WSLCB after one of these bills gets passed. That will open up a HUGE market to I502 growers. My advice is just hang in there ..

    Reply
  13. Adam Welch on

    The problem in WA is that they got too greedy with the tax scheme. Compared to Colorado, where the legal industry is doing much better, they tax one time at 15%. WA not only taxes 25% which is 66.66% more, it does this 3 times! Below is an example sale end-to-end:

    Grower(producer) sells to processor for $8/gram, the producer trims and bags and sells gram bags to store for $10 (no open jars in WA legal weed stores, uber lame!). Finally, the store sell then gram to a customer for $15, WA’s target price point.

    $8 x 0.25 = $2.00
    $10 x 0.25 = $2.50
    $15 x 0.25 = $3.75
    Total Tax WA $8.25 per $15 gram, or 55%.

    Colorado $15 gram pays $2.25 tax @ 15%.

    55% is 3.6 times as much as 15%. Factor in the fact that legal growers will be paying full income tax on all of this profit, it leaves little room to succeed with i502. WA was a pioneer state in legalization, and will be the example to other states of how not to implement their programs. Colorado did it right: sane tax scheme, open jars and smelling in stores, and home grows of up to six plants. That is American freedom, not the tax hungry bullshit that WA slipped through the voters.

    Reply
  14. Guttsen on

    Simple economics.

    If you ask me, this as an opportunity.

    Branding, marketing, public relations, customer service, merchandising…in my experience, many folks in the pot game have never heard these term before.

    My advice to those facing this reality/opportunity is to hire marketing experts from outside the pot business. Building a brand does NOT mean your brother-in-law drew you a logo on a ziz-zag you photocopied to make a business card.

    From here on out kids, it’s all about the branding. The market will find it’s own sweet spot.

    Yep.

    Reply
  15. BuySheepSellDeer on

    Oh another thing for you producers.
    Ask retailers what will sell and stop
    getting all huffy puffy when we tell you that your crappy outdoor schwag will not sell at any price. Go buy some
    of your competitors stuff and
    see why they are being sold in a
    retailers shelf. Business 101. Come on,
    peeps. Jesus. Be true and honest
    when you see better stuff than yours.
    The strongest technique will survive.

    Reply
  16. heh. on

    Here is the problem BuySheep; our organization produces some of the best, if not the best, indoor cannabis in the recreational market place. This is not an exaggeration on my part, or a sense of inflated ego. This is actually what is being said by those within the industry, as well as the all important consumer opinions… When we get 6-7$ per gram for this product (net of $5.25) with a cost to produce of $4.85 per (net profit of $0.40), at wholesale to retail, and the retailer (you) is marking the product up in order to make $5.25 net on your end, we have a problem. YOU tell me how 150% to 280% markup is OK (and not gouging) for passing the product as middle man to the consumer from the producer/processor whom spent FAR more and has much more overhead costs to create the product. Do you produce the product, no. Do you package the product, no. Do you test the product, no. Do you transport the product, no. You explain to me, and all of the other producer/processors here, how you can justify that kind of markup. Your employee/operational costs? 280e tax payments? Yeah, we have those as well. Your cost to sell, per gram, should be $1. Include the 280e tax payments, and you are at $2.25 roughly. It is utter bullshit that you refer to outdoor shitweed as an example of reasoning for your greed. I am certain your shop has plenty of Phat Panda (for example) to sell and make a large margin. What the rest of you have not surmised is that the producer of the Phat Panda line most likely has the ability to operate at a net loss for several years… It is one way for him to build his brand, albeit a costly approach, and I applaud him for it.
    With that said, the majority of the very best producers in this state do not have the luxury (bank account) to sustain negative margin over a short period, let alone a long one.

    To all of you would be and soon to be retailers out there, I can give you a piece of business advice: operate your business model as though you are vertically integrated with the producer/processors you are purchasing from, ie. split the profits. It is fair for both parties involved, leaves no hostilities, and creates a long term working relationship therein.

    Reply
  17. Steven North on

    Mr. heh, under 280E, you get to deduct many of your production and labor expenses. The retailer does not get that luxury. Buying at $6-7 and retailing at $25.00, gives the retailers less than 5% profit after Federal Income Tax. Need to compare apples to apples — AFTER TAX INCOME AND PROFIT. THIS IS FAR DIFFERENT THAN FINANCIAL INCOME — PROFIT and LOSS.

    Reply
  18. heh. on

    Mr. North,
    Please do explain the numbers for all of us here. This is the place in time it is most pertinent. Use the example I gave in my prior post: $4.85 per gram in operational costs to produce, process (trim/package/label), and deliver to retail; with a gross sale to retail or $7.00 per gram. This product would then be sold to the consumer at $25 per gram. Use an average sales tax rate of 8.9% (33.9% overall). If you would like more parameters; base this on a total purchase of 1 cannabis pound (448 grams) with that same amount converted into retail revenue.
    Prove me wrong.

    Reply
  19. heh. on

    Based on your review, a retailer would be making more than a 5% margin as stated in your previous post. Therein you did not prove me wrong. The retailers, when purchasing at $7.00 or less are making more margin that those whom produce and process the cannabis to be sold at retail. The current industry average for cannabis production and processing margin is 2% to -10%. Again, based on your breakdown review, retailers are currently holding the marketplace hostage by price gouging to justify their margin. As I said before, retailers ought to operate on margin that is at least equal to the margin that producer/processors are receiving. Unless of course they (retailers) would like to (in the very near future) sell only product that is grown on a massive scale (of mid and lower end quality). If you have grown cannabis on a large scale, you would know that you lose much of the growing parameters needed to produce high quality product therein. Now per your original argument, if a retailer is to make 5% margin, not the 6% margin in your breakdown, while passing the 1% onto the producer, inroads would be made. With all of that said, producers are currently not generating even 5% in net revenue for high quality indoor cultivated cannabis. While the retailer, whom is simply passing the product on to the consumer (none of the aforementioned costs previously stated), is receiving a larger margin. I would propose the question; how much margin is acceptable by the consumer for retailers to receive? Until we see legislative action (a bi-partisan combination of the Kohl-Welles and Rivers bills) that would enact a true State tax, allowing retail revenue to not be so heavily weighted under 280e, a large portion of this industry will fold. The ripple effect of this may very well mean the end of this grand experiment. Yes, it really is that bad.

    Reply
  20. BuySheepSellDeer on

    @heh.

    Right. I recall fondly when we were
    complaining about the high prices
    to the growers and what was their
    response: “We are responding to market
    demands, so our prices are high.”
    Now, the shoe is on the other foot.

    Gentle readers, if you are following
    this thread, here are some hints to
    understand the dynamics.

    1. Most of these growers are from the
    black or medical market and are used
    to controlling the supply and prices.
    They did not fully understand how
    the free market actually works.

    2. Growers are especially jealous
    sort that can not stand anyone making
    more than they are. Therefore, calls for maximum margins and some form
    of price control. Isn’t this what
    we are trying to get away from?

    3. If this grower costs to produce
    is around $2200 a lbs, then sorry,
    you need rethink your business model.

    4. Every grower I spoke think that
    their crap don’t stink. Meaning they
    are the only ones who grow blinging
    stuff aka the best stuff. Please. Stop it. The sales numbers are what we
    are following, not some inflated sense
    of self or ego. NUMBERS.

    5. When there was short supply, we
    asked every grower to partner with us
    for the long haul, not short term gains. Everyone of them told us to
    f*ck off and die. Short term memories.
    I wish I had recorded the conversations. We chuckle every time
    when we read stuff about cooperation.

    6. Most of the growers are not true
    business people. How many of them
    actually read all of the BOTEC reports?
    Anybody? If you read it carefully, it
    tells you actually what was going
    to happen. However, nobody believed it.

    7. Don’t knock outdoor. There is some
    hybrid outdoor growers that are much
    better than many indoor growers.
    Get out of your bubble. As retailers,
    we have access to every grower out
    there and we know who is bad or good.

    8. Ok tough guy. What is the name
    of your company so we can avoid
    buying from you since you do not
    want to do business with retailers.
    I already know who you are, heh.
    Ain’t that hard to figure out.
    Good luck selling your expensive schwag.

    Reply
  21. BuySheepSellDeer on

    @heh

    Right. Price controls really work
    well in a free market. Give Venezuela
    a call. No wonder you guys are failing
    in your business. No sales for you

    Reply
  22. Iknowbusiness on

    BuySheep and Heh – Thank you both for the interesting read. It is fun to see the back and forth between suppliers and retailers in a new business like this. I am in a totally different business, but have worked for both manufacturer’s, distributor’s, and retail companies. Here is what my 25+ years have taught me:

    1. Know your market. Ultimately, it is the consumer who will determine your price points. No matter how good a product is, and how expensive it is to produce, at some point no one will buy it if it is too expensive.
    2. The (legal) market is in it’s infancy. The broad consumer market has no idea what the difference is between sativa and indica. Let alone why one strain is worth $12 per gram and another is $30 per gram. Chances are, new users will go for the bottom to mid-shelf (at best) stuff to “try it out”. retailer need to have a good sales force that understands how to talk to non-users if they plan on having long term success. Because relying on all the business to come from long term smokers will fail to produce the margins that everyone needs to survive (because they are all used to black market pricing).
    3. Profit margins. Here is the key IMO. Everyone needs to make enough money to survive. The key to success as a processor/distributor is to figure out what the gross margin is that you require to keep in business, and make sure you don’t go below it (as much as possible. The NET profit (what is left after operating expenses and taxes) should be the only thing that you mess around with. Yes – other processors may decide to undercut you and sell at a loss, but this is where being a business owner gets to be fun. How you deal with this kind of competiton will ultimately determine your long term success or failure.
    4. Growers – Also need to make a profit to survive, but like farmers in many ways, are very succeptible to market price fluctuations, supply/demand issues, etc. How to combat that? Not easy, but you can mitigate it by choosing to only produce high quality product which should ALWAYS demand a higher price (regardless of actual cost). Understanding how to BRAND your product. How to MARKET your product. And how to protect margins of YOUR brand by controlling the supply. Think of things like produce. Who makes the best raisins? What brand do you think of when you think corn? Then look at those companies. Which ones are vertical and which ones are actually processors who have contracts with producers to make “their” corn or raisins, etc.
    5. Retailers – look at liquor stores. Do they set their own prices? Sure – to an extent. But ultimately the price a retailer pays is what helps drive a retailers margin. Which means a retailer needs to have a good relationship with the processors/distributor. And in the established business world, volume is king. If you are a small mom and pop shop, but you think you deserve the same prices as a store that is twice as big, in a city with 5 times the customers, then you need a reality check. And if a retail store thinks they can get away with price gouging, well, eventually the market will catch on, someone else will open up shop and compete, and then you better figure out how to get your customers – who are now pissed because they know how much you over charge – to accept your apology.
    6. Finally – remember the consumer? Yeah – those folks. They ultimately decide who wins and loses. If price is the ultimate driver for them, then adapt to that reality. If you have consumers who are willing to pay for quality – then cater to them (if it makes sense from a profit stand point).
    At some point, the market will sort itself out. If you think that everyone who currently is growing will succeed, you are wrong. Many will fail. It is the nature of any new industry. The same with retailers and processor/distributors. Oh – and if any of you were in the black market and think that going back to it is your back up plan….. just wait until the state decides to start chasing you down for tax evasion. Because the DEA will be more than happy to help the state when that becomes a focus – which it eventually will…

    Reply
  23. David on

    John Kirkman
    Growers of all manner of plant products and produce have been successful for generations without the “Uck” factor of mold and pesticides you mention. In fact Washington, along with our sister West Coast States of California and Oregon are the true birthplaces of the organic food movement, now recognized nationally and largely now taken for granted by consumers elsewhere. There are also indoor grows and fans available for those who happen to live and grow in a Pacific convergence zone. East of the Cascade crest lies the dry arid climate of the Great Columbia Basin,not influenced by the warm Pacific ocean currents(the Japanese Current for example being the largest) the affects Western Washington’s climate from extreme cold and heat allowing for Temperate Rainforests (magical places) in the watersheds of the Olympic mountains Western valley’s. You should study a little climate and geography before making such an uninformed statement. BTW you can now download Google Earth Pro now for free (formerly $399 by doing a search for same on cnet.com

    Reply
  24. David on

    Adam Welch
    The Washington Legislature is currently in session (much to the dismay of many untaxed MMJ patients,including myself). That said, there are several bills reforming Washington’s recreational tax structure at the legislative level now being considered. The likely change would place the tax burden squarely upon the rec. consumer, thereby lowering production cost’s on the wholesale /grower/retailer end. One big drawback of being one of the first to accomplish something hitherto unknown, an experiment as it were is criticism of Monday morning quaterbacks after the fact. Nothing is set in stone from day one. Washington state initiative law required two years to pass before changes can be made to any citizens initiative. That two year requirement has now passed. Recall Washington legalized cannabis on the same Nov. evening as did Colorado in 2012, albeit with a two hour time zone difference (darn those clocks and the aperture of the Earth). S in Truth statistic’s work better for sports than for establishment of a brand new state industry, one based upon plant production whose sales and taxes were often under the legal time limitations mentioned earlier. Colorado happened to have already regulated and combined it’s recreational stores with it’s existing medical dispensaries. Something Washington patients are still fighting to stop as we speak. Washington’s medical patients are highly protective of our mmj law (which actually dates to 1979, but was not enacted until a lawsuit and all appeals were finally exhausted in 1998). The legalization and medical fight is not over in Washington, nor in Colorado. Throw into the volitile mix two new legalalized states (both on the American West Coast), plus Washington D.C. (which has had to deal with a new not cannabis friendly Republican Congress). Washington is NOT Colorado. No offense intended to our fine friends to the East living there but my own fore-bearer’s had a reason and a purpose for venturing much further to the West to reach the shores of the planet’s largest ocean and it’s diverse climate and lifeforms. A mild temperate marine climate, West of the Cascade Crest,with enormous and gigantic tree’s, some of the largest on Earth, being a draw. Throw in a mad Gold Rush or two and voila, you have California with the 7th largest GDP in the world. Lsst year surpassing Italy, creeping up on Brazil in 2016.And that’s just California, I’m not even including nor combining the GDP’s of Alaska (my own native state), Washington, and Oregon. These are some relevant statistic’s if yu want to use them. Botanist’s know that coniferous Forests and many coastal native plants continue to grow at 36F up. Western Washington’s temperate climate has years when it does not drop below this temperature at all. Washington is also more diverse and politically progressive than Colorado due in part to it’s proximity to Asia (the closest American State to Asia is Washington). Colorado remains with the exception of it’s large urban area’s a very Conservative state. Just because Colorado did it one way doesn’t mean Washington had to have done it their way too. Both states have had whiskers and growing pains from being first. All of these issues will eventually be ironed out. It’s not a race it’s a long term legacy.

    Reply
  25. Pam on

    Why is New Vansterdam selling grams at $35-$50 and ounces at $820???

    1/2 grm nasty looking black co2 oil for $90???

    REALLY ??????

    Close New Vansterdam, it is a dirty disgusting store. This new industry does not need a black eye like New Vansterdam. The guys running it looked nothing short of the bag slingers behind 7-11.

    Reply
  26. Phil Redd on

    two things are killing the market.
    federal tax like steven north mentioned on first comment

    The other thing is top shelf medical marijuana is $10.00 a gram instead of $35.00. The biggest pot smokers will go where the deals are.

    Reply
  27. BuySheepSellDeer on

    @27. Iknowbusiness

    Solid gold advice, especially about
    the tax evasion. Dept of Revenue in
    Wa state are already going after
    medical folks who didn’t pay taxes.
    Some folks owe millions and these
    revenue folks are mean about
    collecting. Scary.

    Reply
  28. bongstar420 on

    The words of the wise:

    John Kirkman
    January 20th, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    There’s always tons of mid grade outdoor around so don’t see what the story is here. Probably used a trim pro to “manicure” so stems and leaves and grown in the NW you can bet on fungicides and pesticides too e yuck..

    Common folk producing common product… Its a shame and it will continue despite their anti-Malbroro anti-Monsanto rhetoric as those corps represent their demand- cheap product for cheap people

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  29. Silverado on

    Cheap? All cannabis except that peddled by the state is cheap – or should be. And you’re wrong. It’s more like common folk producing an OUTSTANDING (and in my case ORGANIC)PRODUCT. What are you talking about? All the growers I know take full advantage of what’s grown the best cannabis in the world since Adam & Eve walked the earth and that’s the sun. You know what other advantage that gets a good grower? LOWER OVERHEAD (as in more money) as they don’t usually have light bills, air conditioning costs, bug sprays, etc etc. Bugs? Outdoors? Sure, that’s where they live alright. But to healthy sun grown cannabis plants that are properly tended any bugs are transitory in nature and are there (usually) not munching on your plant as much as they are looking for another bug (which as a form of natural predator control I believe is desired). Of course there’s the occasional leaf hopper punching tiny holes in a leaf or three or other predator bugs or spiders looking for prey. But I get a kick out of those GROW-SNOBS who say you can’t grow excellent top shelf grade A cannabis outdoors here in western Washington. To which I’d say look outside and all this BEAUTIFUL hot sunny dry weather it’s PERFECT for growing most anything that requires a lot of sun (my heirloom tomatoes are doing equally well this year) but especially for cannabis. If we’re lucky enough to see an “Indian summer” where the warm dry weather continues well into October this could very well be a record breaking outdoor crop in the pacific northwest (resulting in more and even lower prices for cannabis), especially in western Washington that we haven’t seen here in many years. So I hope you planted heavily outdoors this past spring because so far the grow God is smiling on us. Maybe some of you GROW-SNOBS should get out for some sun a little more often and find out what you & your plants are missing. Oh and finally the one thing I really like about outdoor growing? It’s that harvest that’s so…large & genetically varied (more than one strain) that I don’t have to worry about growing anything inside AT ALL this winter and ain’t that cool. (you’ll notice that’s not a question) I mean I’ve NEVER seen an indoor plant (and I’ve grown plenty of those too) that has over 2 pounds of primo trimmed up grade A BUD – not ever, not even once. Outside I’ve seen that every year we’ve had a decent harvest from our great outdoor genetics. Anyway GLTA as an outdoor bumper crop and the resulting lower prices are coming starting in about 60 days or so weather permitting. “tons of mid grade outdoor around” maybe where you live and hang out. Not so much here at my end-of-the-road location. Life is good…

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  30. mr on

    Interesting read personally I think Washington’s rec law needs to allow vertical integration. I believe northern nj into NY has some of the best most fertile land for cannabis cultivation. I’ve seen plants approaching 20 ft tall with huge amounts of bud 10+ on one plant. The only people that will survive are the ones who can compete. My company is staging waiting to see what happens. There is a smaller company staging to with 200+ million in assets. We have 500, and its all a game. Prepare for a ten year plan were the price of a gram falls to $4 or 5 retail. The dispensaries here charge 520 an ounce. Street prices are a strong 300 350. With the bigger players keeping there heads down to see how the next 3 or 4 years go.
    Mr
    Rw inc

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