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In Washington Licensed Growers Struggle With Surplus Marijuana

An employee weighs portions of retail marijuana to be packaged and sold at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, Dec. 31, 2013. (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo)
An employee weighs portions of retail marijuana to be packaged and sold at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, Dec. 31, 2013. (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo)

 

(Capital OTC) – The marijuana market in Washington opened last summer with the passing of State’s Initiative 502 (I-502), which decriminalized the use of recreational marijuana. The law allowed the creation of a licensed and regulated system of marijuana production and distribution, similar to the state’s liquor controls.

The newly opened marked had a hard time as lots of stores closed regularly due to the lack of weed. Also, marijuana prices went through the roof. But the situation has changed in the last half year, as eastern Washington harvesters introduced sun-grown pot to the market. This resulted in prices coming down in the licensed marijuana shops.

This turn of events was unfortunate for local growers who say they are struggling to sell their products. Some even face being pushed out of the market as it is harder and harder to live off selling legal pot. In the words of Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle, the market has become an “economic nightmare”.

The data collected from the state, revealed on Thursday, suggests that since legal growers have harvested about 31,000 pounds of marijuana, but the few legal pot shops have less that one fifth of that quantity. This shows that the majority of Washington’s marijuana users prefer the untaxed, cheaper pot they obtain from illegal dealers or from unregulated medical dispensaries.

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