Washington state cannabis oversupply spurs calls for change

, Washington state cannabis oversupply spurs calls for change

(This is the second installment in a two-part series on challenges facing Washington state’s marijuana industry. Click here to read Part I.)

(This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

Washington state’s cannabis supply continues to swell, flooding the market and causing both wholesale and retail prices to sink.

After the October 2017 outdoor harvest – the state’s largest to date – Jim MacRae, owner of cannabis-focused business intelligence firm Straight Line Analytics in Seattle, says the market will have a 60% larger supply than in 2016.

With an ounce of legal marijuana flower selling for as low as $40 in the state’s retail stores, both shop owners and producers are seeking changes to Washington’s cannabis regulations.

Lawmakers and industry leaders are discussing ways to correct the market, including:

  • Reducing the amount of square footage growers are allowed.
  • Ending license transfers so when a business fails, its permit is no longer on the market.
  • Putting a moratorium on the approval of new licenses.

One thing most in the industry agree on: There’s too much cannabis production.

“Right now we have about three times more product than we have retail sales,” said grower Steve Fuhr, who owns Toucan Farms in Shelton.

‘Bloodbath of prices’

Fuhr said he’s struggling to get more than $1 a gram ($454 a pound) wholesale for the cannabis he grows.

“It’s a bloodbath of prices,” he added.

MacRae tallied the number of plants in spring to arrive at his estimate of a 60% larger supply.

“It’s the biggest harvest we’ve ever seen in the state,” he said.

“It’s unlikely that all of that is going to sell, and if it does, it’s going to sell at even further depressed prices.”

MacRae expects about two-thirds of the harvest will have difficulty selling through the regulated system.

Jeremy Moberg – president of the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association – wonders if prices have gotten so low that retail businesses are cannibalizing themselves.

“You can drive a mile from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and buy a pretty good-looking ounce for $40,” added Moberg, also CEO of Cannasol Farms, a producer/processor company in Okanogan County.

“Half of the black-market price. That’s how bad it is.”

Logan Bowers, co-owner of Seattle retail shop Hashtag Cannabis, said his most expensive ounce sells for $420.

He also sells ounces at around $100 with tax and expects to begin selling ounces that maintain his quality standards for $75 in the next month or so.

Bowers said he’s heard of a few retailers selling ounces for as low as $40.

“But the quality is awfully suspect at that price,” he said.

Washington’s wholesale oil market is also impacted by the cannabis glut.

Much of the flower from the outdoor harvest isn’t pretty enough to be displayed on a store shelf, so it goes into the oil market.

Growers selling their trim for oil production have “seen that market crater,” Bowers said.

That’s led to lower prices for pre-rolls, for example, because processors are making joints from the flower they’d normally sell for oil production.

Diversion practices

When the price of a legal ounce of cannabis sells for less than a black-market ounce, the potential for diversion is no longer a risk, it’s a certainty, said Moberg.

Retail stores selling at the $40-$50-per-ounce price are moving 400-500 units a day to customers around Washington, Moberg added.

“This is clearly for diversion,” he said. “Is the store breaking the law? Probably not.

“The rule about looping is vague here, and there’s no enforcement.”

“Looping” is where a customer buys multiple ounces of cannabis in one day through repeated trips to the same store.

Colorado retail chain Sweet Leaf has been accused of allowing the looping practice.

Bowers said some industry insiders put a positive spin on the low prices by pointing out the state still receives tax revenue.

But it’s easy to make money selling those ounces across the border in a prohibition state, he added.

Neighboring Idaho, for example, doesn’t allow the sale of either cannabis recreational or medical cannabis.

“It’s important if we want our system to be successful that we be respectful of our neighbors,” Bowers said.

What can be done?

License holders understandably would like to see failing businesses taken off the market rather than have them gobbled up by a more successful company.

Such action would decrease competition and allow the existing businesses a larger market share.

Moberg believes this is the best solution for the supply problem.

“I’m going out of business competing against people going out of business,” he said.

With prices so low, a rash of companies are going belly-up.

But before closing their doors, owners put their licenses up for sale, which likely will fetch a hefty profit from a more successful business, according to Moberg.

The new owners typically have more business savvy and deeper pockets, Moberg added, so they’ll likely end up adding to Washington’s marijuana surplus.

Meanwhile, some business owners have called for the state to review canopy limits and consider reducing the cultivation facility size.

And, according to Bowers, the state’s cannabis board has begun looking into that exact issue.

Under the current regulations, each large-scale cultivation license (Tier 3) is allowed 30,000 square feet of canopy and each company can own up to three licenses.

That’s 90,000 square feet of canopy, which “grows a lot of pot,” Bowers said. “You only need about 270,000 square feet to grow for the entire state.”

There are currently about 1,100 growers in Washington.

“At the current limits that are licensed, we could grow enough (cannabis) to service California, Oregon and Washington combined,” Bowers added.

Moberg thinks reducing the canopy size is the wrong answer.

“Particularly when you haven’t done everything in your toolbelt to take care of the problem,” Moberg said. “The winners and losers all get hurt.”

Another looming problem: The state still has 77 outstanding production licenses from the original round of 2013 applications.

“Let’s stop adding any more,” Moberg said.

Bart Schaneman can be reached at [email protected]

70 comments on “Washington state cannabis oversupply spurs calls for change
  1. mytwosense on

    Shouldn’t the state know this long before a “Straight Line Analytics” would? Whats the point of a “system” if you can’t see this trend?

    • Eric Harris on

      Sharp point – key indicator. Don’t you think driving towards action before the jurisdiction defines itself is tinkering? Is it not endemic of the system each state is forced into? Price must find its natural place in the ecosystem. Long term..I see national removal from law normalizing regular product sub $75, and graduating up a quality scale. Similar to art, alcohol, clothes.. Thoughts? Cheers/Eric

    • DC Broughton on

      I said that when the state opened up a second round of tier applications. It was almost as if the state wanted the industry to fail. Wa. and Oregon are limited use states with very little tourist trade that visit for the legal marijuana. Oregon now has almost 1.5 million pounds excess. Who’s making these disastrous decisions? The market for the entire legal west coast needs to price regulated before it lowballs itself out of existence.

      • MEOIT on

        What other crops in the legal market do you know that sells for thousands of dollars per pound? The answer is none the reason pot prices were what they were is that it was an illegal business. Now that it is legal they will normalize close the same price as the rest of agriculture.

        • Jeanne Rees on

          Many “crops” are that expensive… caviar…truffles..many specialized foods for people willing to pay.
          Too much marijuana results in saturation of the market.
          Legalization was the worst thing for medical marijuana users. These are people who’s life depends on mj. Now govt will not cover their meds so they go without. What if the extra mj could be donated to Medical patient’s. It would be a good financial decision.

      • Mr.Dingleberry on

        The government shouldn’t regulate commerce. We all know where that gets us in the long run. Shitty product at shitty prices. If the market were free and anyone could start a business producing cannabis, the best producers would corner the marker, not the richest, or the sleaziest. Both of which are afraid of the little guys if they were allowed to compete fairly.

      • Jeanne Rees on

        Have you been to Seattle recently? Living less than a block away from the largest seller in downtown I can tell you that Washington is not “limited use”.
        It is the first State to COMPLETELY legalize marijuana. The amount grown in WA. could supply all of WA, OR and California.
        Tourists coming in droves to buy legally, taking photos of themselves in front of famous dispensaries. It’s crazy here. People smoke pot outside. It’s difficult to take a walk and not smell weed?

    • PV on

      Ha, the state is inept at every level. The folks running the show at the Washington state lccb do not know anything Cannabis ot the cannabis industry

  2. T ride hydro on

    Funny how nowhere in the article does it mention the need to license MORE retail/consumer outlets?Don’t the “producers” realize that in the normal world of business, the “producers” want as many licensed distributors/marketers and re sellers of their product as possible? Wouldn’t a producer support a “Consumption” model which currently isn’t even available by the state?

    • Ron Robinson on

      Increasing the number of retail outlets does nothing to increase demand. If a wheat farmer can’t make it when the demand/prices are down he grows something else. The market will find it’s own level. The boom has turned to bust and the strong will survive and the rest will drop out.

      • Mr.Dingleberry on

        This isn’t true. Some locales have no cannabis outlets so less is bought because the people only buy when they are in town. Consuming less because it is too inconvenient.

    • The Caterpillar on

      More stores and cheaper prices are not the answer. The concentration of stores is a huge problem just as over production is. If weed drops to a buck a gram out the door that doesn’t mean more people will suddenly start using cannabis. The market is saturated all across the board. The people who are inclined to use cannabis are already using it. Our prices have dropped dramatically over the last few months but our daily customer count remains the same, the difference we are seeing is the daily dollar amount. I think we need an enforced minimum mark up system and require proof that all taxes including Federal have to be paid before a license can be renewed.

  3. goelvis on

    Come to Oregon! Where we have 800,000 extra pounds of marijuana in our system left over from 2017!

    Prices are plummeting and dispensaries are overwhelmed with FAR too many sales representatives.

    When marijuana can cross state lines legally, then the supply/demand issue will end. Until then, Oregon and Washington will have way too much flower.

    • Dianne on

      Yes indeed goelvis, its a glutted market mainly be cause of the illegal farms and the black market sales. In Oregon the oversight to ensure a healthy market is totally out to lunch, there is none! It is was totally mismanaged from the get-go I think mainly because of inept leadership in the government, so what’s NEW? Greedy bureaucrats wanted big tax revenue, so they over licensed, over regulated and did not control the illegal production which is rampant and still dangerous. Now Josephine County is trying to shut us down so growers including us have filed a class action law suit. It’s gotten quit ugly, so thanks Oregon for nothing!

      • Ron Robinson on

        I disagree, this was inevitable. The whole country saw the legalization in a few states as a gold rush and it was and now we are in the bust phase. The governor played her cards right and brought billions into the state. Even though it will be relatively short lived we caught the wave and rode it, now it is time to paddle. Suck it up.

    • Ma Dang on

      Your solution is to sell your excess pot to California, which will then drive down our producer prices ? Welcome and good luck with that !

      I’m sure the state would be willing to license you to sell your product here garnering additional sales, excise and grower taxes.
      You have to give it to a licensed distributor who will charge you storage, in/out fees and transportation to /from everywhere and collect all state fees before you get paid.
      You will pay double here what you pay there with half the results to have it tested and it’s destroyed if it doesn’t pass. That’s a lot of ifs and $$$ to try and it’s going to have to be labeled ‘Oregon’.
      Seems to me that the municipalities should decide how many, zoning,local taxes and the permitting process for dispensaries after the state has approved a Licensee.
      Likewise growers should be capped at 3,000 sq. ft. of canopy, allowed a single location license, zoned MFG. for indoor and zoned agriculture or Forest for outdoor and greenhouses.

    • Paul Clark on

      This is true , once you open up our state borders, and legalize cannabis federally and close the southern border, the market will work itself out but if big business comes in there will be another fall in prices. California also has a large surplus!

  4. Clifton Middleton on

    The cops in Washington should do a blockade run to Florida …… changing the law as they rush the much needed medicine to a sin sick East Coast and the deeply racist south.

  5. Michael Hallett on

    The article does not make clear why any action is necessary. If prices fall producers and retailers will leave the market until the prices rise to the point where producers and consumers are happy. Pot is nice, but it is not necessary…why not just leave the market alone until the willing buyer/willing seller model works? If I am missing some deeper point please let me know.

    • Dianne on

      Government oversight that is inept is what you are missing Michael and please do not tell me that medicinal MJ is not needed nor necessary for epileptics, MS suffers, muscle disorder, sleep disorders, cancer curing (with RSO), PTSD sufferer’s, people trying to get of major oversubscribed opiates and other undesirable meds.

  6. Russ Belville on

    I’m trying to reimagine this worrisome text, but instead of “$40,” “ounce,” “cannabis,” “shop owners,” and “producers,” the subjects were “40¢,” “gallon,” “gasoline,” “gas stations,” and “oil companies.” Then would a story about oversupply consider what customers feel? Would anybody filling their gas tank for $6 shed a tear for ExxonMobil or their local gas station? Would that be a serious problem in need of a market correction?

    I read this and imagined rich (white) men rending garments and gnashing teeth. “God damn it, if this goes on, those stoners will begin to think pot ought to cost on par with other dried vegetable matter, not what 80 years of locking up black kids made them think it should cost!”

    “Correct the market,” they call it, as if $300 ounces were the *proper* setting and somehow we’ve bollixed up things by legalizing it too much too fast. Ironically, I hear this from both legit and underground marketeers. They thought legalization meant “same profits, no arrests.” While every (non-dealing) consumer I know understood legalization meant, “I don’t have to wait in a parking lot for a $300 bag of unknown, untested ‘Got Some’ that’s 2 grams short, dealt by ‘the guy’ who’s thirty minutes late and expects you to share, while you scan for the 5-0.”

    Now that growers don’t have to recreate the sun and the wind indoors and need not fear raids and imprisonment by the sheriff, there’s too much marijuana and prices are too low? So let’s set canopy limits and reduce the number of growing licenses, because if we don’t keep the price high, it’ll get diverted to the black market?

    The maddening thing from the perspective of an activist consumer, aside from being told I should support making my weed purchases more expensive, is that $40/legal ounces flooding the black market should be exactly what we want. It’s not the marijuana, it’s the artificial scarcity of it due to prohibition that ever caused any problems with it. A bunch of Moscow stoners want to loop up $40 ounces at Spokane shops and sell them back at University of Idaho? Great! Do you think they’ll sell for $300/oz for very long before some other entrepreneurial Vandals go do the same thing and beat their price, unleashing a black market price war in Idaho? How much do you suppose Idaho weed dealers and Mexican cartel-linked gangs would like that?

    “Overgrow the government,” we said. The goal of every person in the marijuana movement, no matter which side of the budshelf, should be fighting for the end of prohibition and every attempt at artificially restricting the supply of cannabis. It ought to cost no more than cigars (fine tobacco = $3.75/ounce) and less than saffron ($140/ounce for a spice it takes 70,000 flowers to grow a pound, where humans must pick the three stamens – the saffron – from the flower by hand during a strict two-week growing period, that is mostly cultivated in Spain and Iran). Ironically, under legalization, now legit cannabusiness joins government, Mexican cartels, & weed dealers in wanting to keep the price of marijuana high through artificial scarcity. Only government now pivots from “high prices deter child use!” false reasoning to protecting a price-based marijuana tax cash cow. I’m betting those lawmakers in Olympia who set a 37% tax rate on what got as high as $26/g marijuana – that’s $9.62 tax for every gram sold – are very eager to fix a problem where their 37% tax is only netting them 52¢ tax for every gram sold.

    • calvin cook on

      You made me laugh so hard, I cried!
      Thanks for a proper reply to such awesome reply (and loved your analogy to gas) – thanks to your comment I can rest assured that others were laughing at that ridiculous article.

    • Jimmy James on

      Flat rate tax on weight or packaging ($5 per gram). Or a tax per mg of THC is coming. No doubt. That would be pretty funny though, all that “fire” growing at 30% right now would magically start testing about 18% 🙂

    • Terry on

      I really don’t know about this Idea of reducing business lisence for those who would like to go into business this new business how fair is that to the people that have been planning on this as a career. As to pricing as a consumer I enjoyed the drop in price it will adjust with the market. Please don’t help the greedy people out by reducing business licenses the strong will survive.

  7. FrankTokes on

    Sounds like a bunch of cry-babies! Something I learned long ago is that every business person is all about “Free Enterprise” until it comes to whatever they sell, then they want a monopoly where they can jack the consumer… Sure, herb is more labor intensive than tomatoes, but if you price weed like other vegetables, it should sell for $250 a pound and $2 a gram at retail plus tax.

  8. Rick Fague on

    As usual, Washington’s LCB isn’t listening to anyone but their own bad advice. These are the same folks who couldn’t figure out how to make money on alcohol and nearly bankrupted the liquor industry here.

    What they need to do is stabilize supply and demand. Stockpile excess MJ products when there’s too much, then release the excess into the market when demand exceeds the supply.

    It’s the same technique the federal government uses to manage the food supply and keep food prices stable so farmers don’t go belly up due to price and supply fluctuations. Of course once Congress finally gets off their butts and makes it federally legal, this and many other issues will either go away or become much more manageable.

  9. Hastings RH on

    The quality in WA is crap so prices reflect that. If they grew high end strains which yield far less and take far longer to grow and are much harder to grow -consumers would pay for the best but yea there is a glut of crappy weed aka 400-1000 lbs

  10. Ronald Chamberlain on

    I don’t know if your states, (Oregon & Washington) have a Cannabis Producer’s Association, but if you don’t start one. When you do include Nevada, California and Arizona. Stay in contact by skype conferences and work out a way to regulate your supplies. Work out a cross supply system meaning if one state is short another state can fill the lack of supply. When a state gets over produced make the surplus into edibles and oils. These products can be stored in reefers for a long time until sales pick up. And sales will pick up when more and more of the public come to know the benefits of this ancient herb. There are no losers who follow the rules agreed upon by the states. Now I am not suggesting price fixing, only adjusting the supply to be released when there is more demand. BECOME INFORMED BY THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY AND LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR SUPPLY RELEASES SO OVER SUPPLY REVENUE LOSES ARE SHARED BY ALL PRODUCERS. In this way you will save people’s jobs.

    • Nancy Mercanti on

      It is still illegal to cross State lines. The association won’t work as each State is it’s own fiefdom. The beauty of this is that we can learn about what works…if anyone is paying attention.

  11. CM on

    Have faith the market will work itself out. It always does unless someone in position of power or wealth changes the rules to keep themselves in business. They say the problem is too many growers producing too much flower and this is making people go out of business. Seems like the solution is in the problem. Let people go out of business so the market can find balance. This industry is manipulated enough and is too new to start making protection laws.

    • Jimmy James on

      Missing the point. Business aren’t going out of business, that is the problem. They are recycling , new investors come in, prop up the old business, put in a new management team, invest in new equipment because they think they can do it better and cheaper. They scale up, because they need volume to make up for low prices. Rinse, wash, repeat about 1000 times so far in Washington. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

      The LCB f-ed up because the licenses were not supposed to be transferable. If you went out of business then you could sell the business but the license wouldn’t transfer. The new owners would have to apply for a license. Just like a bar. And just like bars, if there were too many in one area, or the owners where schmucks, a license may or may not be approved.

  12. ZaaZaa on

    Hey The Wa state will allow individuals to grow personal plants up to 4-6 plants and no over sight!! very soon in 2018 another thing to consider. All folks can grow their own MJ.
    More retail out lets and lower taxes at retail sales points would help.
    For years the legislature never had any retail professional consultants when they started this set up in Wa state. Hence the pricing per oz per sale was never worked backwards from retial sales pricing to see profitability for the grower/manufacturer. Hence they now are collapsing.
    I said this years ago. Anyone in retail knows this is the golden rule, but bureaucrats don’t have a clue and still don’t apparently.

  13. Canna-Libertarian on

    As long as millions of dollars per month keep rolling in to Olympia tax coffers state gov’t is happy. And as long as prices do what prices are supposed to do according to market rules and not artificial quotas and/or schemes regarding…ample harvests, and that’s go down. The only thing the state should be concerned with regarding THIS issue is that every ounce produced is taxed and all taxes got to Olympia.
    Consumers are reaping the great benefits of huge varieties of all things cannabis and low and going lower pricing as well. Competition is good for everyone!
    The cops should be happy as officially the black market for cannabis production is all but dead in this state and guess why that is? You can buy it legally cheaper than you can grow it illegally. There’ll always be some who would take advantage. But at least there’s few of these opportunists and that low pricing is the main reason why. Go after the diverters and any other criminal threat to legal taxed cannabis too.
    So the ones complaining the loudest are victims of their own success, which are some of the producer – growers. The Libertarian way to do this is to let the market sort this out. And as the weakest businesses fail and licenses are withdrawn or withheld, less is planted and harvested. Prices will find their real price level with less product coming to market “organically” as they say and will rise the opposite as they’re doing today. In the meantime these growers should work on THEIR growing problem and the only way to do that where everybody else will go along with their plan is to plant and harvest less cannabis. There’s no rocket science needed here. Anything else and either the prices rise too fast which will kick start the black market back into production or anger the cannabis buying public who start showing their disapproval for higher prices by withholding their purchases. Which would bring unwanted attention from Olympia from less taxes being collected etc etc. Seems to me the growers need to fix the growing problem by growing less cannabis for a growing cannabis consumer market that’s projected to do that for many years into the future. Anything else could needlessly risk that…presently un-needed future growth.

    • Jimmy James on

      agree, but the problem is that businesses aren’t shutting down and licenses withdrawn. A business fails and they sell the licenses to big companies, mostly from out of state. they are flush with cash, so they operate below costs, artificially driving down prices. Some time or another they will go out of business too. But it’s very bad for the small business owners.

      So while I believe in free markets you have to ask yourself what kind of market do you want. One that is a craft/micro brew market or one dominated by two or three companies putting out shit quality?

      Second, there is no competition at the retail level in reality. Growers are forced to work with retailers, who only have their own interests in mind which do not align with producers. Producers should be able to sell directly to the consumers, same as breweries or wineries. The retailers are the unnecessary middle men in this equation and mark up product 3 -4x what they buy it for!

  14. Ian, owner of a 502 producer/processor on

    Moberg’s ideas are horrible! He only speaks for himself not for other farmers. He would rather see people who have worked hard and invested greatly get nothing in return than see a little competition for his own brand. Let the market be.

  15. Yes-I Garvey on

    Huge mistake to let politicians and other shady suit wearers run cannabis. Long live the Free Unregulated market. Boycott all licensees!

  16. Thorby Baslim on

    Looked at dispensary prices in Washington on Leafly. Prices for cannabis still sky high. They may have surplus but it ain’t cheap.

  17. V-Man on

    This is just silly, if you have overflow of any product sell it off and take the hit.
    Your first loss is your best loss.
    Take the excess and turn it into oil, form an Association , and stick to growing responsibly and soon will control the market as a group . Kind of the way that has gas and oil production does.
    Make no mistake about it, Gas and Oil are very Controled.
    With Cannabis you have to plan it out.
    The States fully expected this, now your leaving the market to adjust itself.
    With a crop like Cannabis the Grower can control the outcome , but they will have to take the hit together.
    Stop over planting, or it will be worse next year.
    As the President of the Oregon cannabis growers Association , I would encourage every Grower who wants to be in business by the end of this year to cut back by over 60% on new plant starts.
    Greed will kill this business, get your expenses in line and get tough, sell less for more.
    Or fold up or sell out, if you got in the business because you truly enjoy it and have a passion for it then he’d the warning’s or you’ll be done by the end of year or before.
    CUT BACK, there are growers who are not in bad shape. I saw this coming and am ready for what ever comes.

  18. Paul Sorensen on

    It’s unfortunate but not unusual to have these kinds of problems in a brand new business environment. It will all shake out. Every business has winners and losers. It just happened sooner in the cannabis marketplace .

  19. I-502 Attorney on

    This is the case in literally every state with legal cannabis. Everyone decides this is their chance to grow weed for a living so they start a farm, then before you know it there are three times more farms than necessary and a massive glut of product. Reducing canopy size is not the answer, nor is eliminating licenses (in Washington where new licenses are not being issued). This should be treated like any other industry. Competitors will die off as they fail to make a profit and eventually the only businesses left will be the most viable. There is a reason you do not find streets with nothing but coffee shops on both sides, all the way down. They would not be able to do enough business and eventually only the best shops would survive because they get the most customers. Cannabis is not a miracle industry for making money, very few businesses are thriving, most are just scraping by. Tell your friends, this industry does not need more businesses.

  20. Larry Rowe on

    Hey, the wholesale price for medical grade cannabis in 1927 was 22 to 33 cents a pound. 4 to 5 dollars a pound in today’s money. As far as I’m concerned let the prices drop as low as they’ll go. After all it is a plant that grows like a weed and it’s only the century of prohibition which has artificially inflated the value.

  21. Real I-502 Business Person on

    This is how it should it be: Crush the nacro-terrorists, let market forces determine price, bring in tax money back to the state, best business people will survive, and our CUSTOMERS (everyone forgets these folks who pay our bills) will get tested, lowest priced, best quality cannabis products.

    If Moberg and company actually read the BOTEC analysis, this is exactly what
    is happening. I could write a whole article on this, so I will get to clear points.

    1. Not an ad hominen, but unfortunately, many former black market growers
    and business people are not good business people, hence the businesses
    are failing. Very simple terms. This is what free market looks like. Asking the
    state to pick winners and losers never turns out well.

    2. This is a very robust and relatively simple to grow AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT.
    Without black market price differentials, the dropping prices reflect this.
    To put things in perspective, the US grows about 90 million acres of corn and
    soy beans. 45 million in wheat. To supply the entire US in cannabis,
    it is estimate only 10,000 acres or about 10 medium sized farms is needed.

    3. We are stopping the real black market, the narco-terrorists who
    not only murder people but also destroy our Federal, state, and tribal
    lands with their illegal grow ops. Diverting streams and damaging the ecosystem of an area. The proudest thing is that we are bringing in
    tax money to the people of Washington, instead of some terrorists

    Thanks for reading.

    • Shim on

      Thank you telling it like it is.
      The inflated prices of the black market allowed a number of incompetent people to make huge amounts of money.

  22. Roland on

    @Russ Bellville is right. The power to tax & regulate is the power to destroy. I don’t know of any better example than the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, a prohibition masquerading as a tax. That’s how we got in this war in the first place. Sure, I’ll pay a small tax in exchange for testing for potency & pesticides. Beyond that, it’s rent-seeking. Who wants all these other regulations? Make them pay for it. Let prices collapse, it will drive out the charlatans. As a homegrower, I hadn’t noticed (snark). There is no right to tax.

  23. Jimmy James on

    People did not vote for a free market of cannabis. They voted for a regulated industry.

    I know everyone on here is die hard pro-marijuana, but this experiment is not a done deal. And you need to keep perspective. Don’t get all cocky just because it’s legal now. As soon as kids start grabbing candies and taking them to school, or weed is so cheap it’s left around the house and kids are getting into it, there will be backlash from the public. The way the state controls this is through production controls and taxes!

    Most people agree weed should be legalization, but there is a big difference between legalization and the laissez faire free market.

  24. Toby Paterson on

    Undercutting the price of the black market will make the black market much smaller. And, in a perfectly competitive capitalist market, free of monopoly price inflation/control, the consumer gets the lowest price and highest quality products. Washington does not need a monopoly industry propped up by overreaching regulation to support a few business owners.

  25. B on

    Maybe the state should consider lowering the taxes. they still get their 45.9% regardless. If cheap pot is whats needed, why is no one demanding anything from the STATE! The STATES greed far surpasses the industries. And the FEDS still get between 21-34% tax on pot… thats upwards of 71% of the price of cannabis going to taxes! The consumer is just welcoming back a collapse and a black market.

    I have a retailer, and I want OUT. I’m sick of the State and the FEDS making it so difficult and just raping the tax dollars out of us. And uneducated, quite frankly, stupid consumers demanding all growers and retailer lower pricing and standing up to NO ONE in the government. Cannabis sucks as an industry. Anyone want a retail license… I’ll sell cheap!

    • Ryan McCollum on

      B why are you taking the easy way out instead of taking the stand that is needed it’s spineless ppl like you why the industry is failing you have no passion behind your product

  26. Ryan McCollum on

    What they don’t realize is that a majority of people who buy rec. Bud are purchasing it for medical purposes and most people who use it for medical purposes need an unhampered consistent supply of meds at 10-15 a gram that isn’t feasible for someone with a disability who only make 753$ dollars a month and pay over half of that in rent and bills . Ok the big guy takes a little hit on the overhead oh well even with depressed prices they are still making money hand over fist I mean look at the fiscal profits from last year alone these companies who are saying their selves they have too much product. well what do other companies do when they have too much product lower their prices and liquidate the inventory buy long story short is a disabled person would possibly afford and ounce at 40-90$ but anything more then that would put them in the street just to afford a much needed medication just because the wording of the laws changed doesn’t mean that the medical users need has lessened.

    I mean where’s the compassion the marijuana industry used to be a caring industry that was focused around helping and not so much the profit even though the profits margins were alot higher for everyone from the grower to the sales guy. It was designed to help ppl but they way the laws were structured it took out many privatized growers who made a decent living from marijuana cultivation and processing so a in all how will making prices skyrocket fix the broken system?? Thats an impossible venture that this state has taken on time and time again and failed miserably. The open access to marijuana has clearly drove other drugs sales downhill so how is making the meds/rec product more unaffordable the answer to the problems because if Jim can’t afford the eigth he needs to get rid of his pain and sick symptoms for a few days the chances are he will choose to use an easier to access cheaper substitute such as heroin or methamphetamine. a person can literally stay high for days on 20$ of meth which is transported across borders and smuggled which to do successfully costs alot of money . And your telling me that with all these border restrictions that our govment is missing these large shipments right under their nose?? Highly unlikely.. the government sees the profit and refuses to let the dollars fall into someone else’s hands. Just a rough breakdown from and average Joe’s perspective like it or leave it.

  27. Arlene Conley on

    I am very late to this comment thread…and probably no one will notice. But one massive point missing from all that I read here (and I read a lot here), is how regulation grows COSTS in ways that do not apply to other agricultural products. Grow soybeans. Put a fence, lights, cameras (and pay for security service attached to the those cameras) on your fields? Grow wine grapes. You’re required to have a paved parking lot on your property? People visit your farm. You’re required to log them in and out and provide badges they wear while on your property (and which you collect before they leave)? You have an agricultural product which may invite creative ways to dispose of or find second life to, such as the turning the expired plants in to mulch or fire pellets, in order to create additional revenue streams?…but no, all expired vegetation must be destroyed. Comparing cannabis to soy beans is ridiculous. As long as regulation adds mountains of cost (and debt) to this “wild weed”, this market will require canopy limitations and price minimums for participants to survive. Society benefits from a product that the public wants and which is safe to use — safety issues ranging from the use of non-hazardous chemicals, to dosing and potency, to child-proofing to environmental safeguards. While profitability is the stuff that free markets are made of, what kind of market is safe? It’s certainly not a “free” one.

  28. Trast Knapmiller on

    What I’m mostly seeing is the large wanna-be monopolies of the early cannabis industry pushing their agenda so that you have to buy THEIR product at whatever price they WANT. Cannabis being cheap for us medical customers is suddenly a problem? If farmers find they aren’t making profit they will change crop and the problem would fix itself. These proposed regulations are very anti small business and anti customer is all I’m saying.

  29. paul bier on

    The LCB is corrupt and has created a faulty system that only benefits the state not business owners. Once we get rid of the LCB and get a fair competent organizers then we can create a fair and just cannabis industry.

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