Too Much Weed. No, Really, Too Much Weed: Growers Struggle With Unexpected Oversupply

Too Much Pot

Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s legal marijuana market opened last summer to a dearth of weed. Some stores periodically closed because they didn’t have pot to sell. Prices were through the roof.
Six months later, the equation has flipped, bringing serious growing pains to the new industry.

“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it. I don’t know anybody getting rich.” 

— Cannabis farmer Scott Masengill

A big harvest of sun-grown marijuana from eastern Washington last fall flooded the market. Prices are starting to come down in the state’s licensed pot shops, but due to the glut, growers are — surprisingly — struggling to sell their marijuana. Some are already worried about going belly-up, finding it tougher than expected to make a living in legal weed.

Dali

“Too much what?” — Salvador Dali

“It’s an economic nightmare,” says Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle.

State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that. Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries — limiting how quickly product moves off the shelves of legal stores.

“State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that.”

“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it,” said Scott Masengill, who has sold half of the 280 pounds he harvested from his pot farm in central Washington. “I don’t know anybody getting rich.”

"I wouldn't worry too much about it. My sources tell me it's a natural supply-demand fluctuation."

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it. My sources tell me it’s a natural supply-demand fluctuation.”

Officials at the state Liquor Control Board, which regulates marijuana, aren’t terribly concerned. So far, there are about 270 licensed growers in Washington — but only about 85 open stores for them to sell to. That’s partly due to a slow, difficult licensing process; retail applicants who haven’t been ready to open; and pot business bans in many cities and counties.

“It’s the volatility of a new marketplace.”

— Randy Simmons, Washington State Liquor Control Board

The board’s legal pot project manager, Randy Simmons, says he hopes about 100 more stores will open in the next few months, providing additional outlets for the weed that’s been harvested. Washington is always likely to have a glut of marijuana after the outdoor crop comes in each fall, he suggested, as the outdoor growers typically harvest one big crop which they continue to sell throughout the year.Weed is still pricey at the state’s pot shops — often in the $23-to-$25-per-gram range. That’s about twice the cost at medical dispensaries, but cheaper than it was a few months ago.  Read the rest of this entry »

Home Delivery of Medical Marijuana in Los Angeles: Is it Legal?

Robert Holguin reports: It seems like there’s an app for everything these days. An app called Nestdrop brings medical marijuana directly to the doorsteps of Angelenos.

“This is unprecedented. It’s never been done before. We’re only dealing with medicinal marijuana, this is medicine for patients.”

— Michael Pycher, developer

Nestdrop, which began with delivering alcohol, promises their weed deliveries will get to you in under an hour.

Michael Pycher is the developer.

“We have every intention to comply with the law. We’re not trying to skirt around anything.” 

“This is unprecedented. It’s never been done before,” Pycher said. “We’re only dealing with medicinal marijuana, this is medicine for patients.”

Pycher says Nestdrop checks to make sure the user is a legitimate medicinal marijuana patient.  Read the rest of this entry »


$50,000 in Marijuana Stolen from Seattle Dispensary

growing-pot-AP

Someone cut a hole in the wall at a Georgetown medical-marijuana dispensary and made off with $50,000 worth of pot this morning, Seattle police said.

An evidence technician was able to recover fingerprints and other evidence from the scene as well as video from surveillance cameras in the area.

Officers were called to the dispensary in the 5000 block of East Marginal Way South at 6:50 a.m. and discovered a large hole had been cut into the side of the business, police said. Officers also found marijuana strewn around the dispensary…(read more)

Seattle Times


Money Approved For More Medical Pot

Tyler Williams peruses samples on the first day of recreational pot sales in Colorado. (Getty Images)

Tyler Williams peruses samples on the first day of recreational pot sales in Colorado. (Getty Images)

More staff has been authorized to implement Nevada’s new medical marijuana law

A panel of state lawmakers Thursday approved $365,000 to hire five administrators who will oversee applications and inspectors for pot growers, processors and dispensaries.

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Dazed and Approved: Panel OK’s Rules for Washington Pot Industry

Hempfest Promotes Legalization Of Marijuana

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates expect to become a template for the legalization of the drug around the world.

“We feel very proud of what we’re doing,” said Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Washington Liquor Control Board, as she and her two colleagues approved the rules. “We are making history.”

imagesizerWashington and Colorado last year legalized the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults over 21, with voters deciding to set up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and sellers. The measures put state officials in the difficult position of crafting rules for a fledgling industry barred by federal law for more than seven decades.

The liquor board devised the rules after nearly a year of research, debate and planning, including public hearings that drew hundreds of people around the state. The rules cover everything from the security at and size of licensed marijuana gardens, to how many pot stores can open in cities across the state.

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Republicans Should Stand with Marijuana Reformers

Taking Back the Joint

By Betsy Woodruff
November 14, 2012 4:00 A.M.

Much ink has been spilt in describing the precise nature of the soul-searching the GOP is undergoing in the wake of getting totally shellacked last Tuesday. There are a plethora of suggestions — of varying degrees of helpfulness — as to how the Republican party can re-brand and re-orient itself; ranging from capitulating on taxes to deciding that gay marriage isn’t a hill to die on. But there’s one easy ideological maneuver that Republicans could make that would simultaneously burnish their stance as the party of freedom and expand their base while alienating the president from his. It is a move that might also make one swing state a little easier to win in 2016. Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders could get on the weed bandwagon.

Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.

Most of us are familiar with the arguments for and against marijuana legalization — it’s non-addictive and (mostly) harmless; it’s not as bad for you as alcohol; it’s a gateway drug; it funds violent drug cartels; it’s too expensive to be worth taxing; etc. etc. ad nauseam. It’s probably not helpful to rehash all those here. The short version is this: A lot of smart people think weed is the devil, and a lot of other smart people like to toke up on weekends because, come on man, it’s just a plant and it grows in the ground.

On Tuesday, the people of Washington State and Colorado sided with the latter. They aren’t the first to ditch the metaphorical Keep off the Grass signs. Medical marijuana is legal in California and Massachusetts, and the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor — Warning: This will not surprise you — has functionally decriminalized possession. This should hearten those fond of federalism. Remember, you don’t have to like THC to hate Washington, D.C. As a general rule, states’ assertion of autonomy is good news for friends of limited government, rendering the question not how conservatives should feel about marijuana decriminalization, but rather how they should respond to it.

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