At First Legal Marijuana Stores In WA, Expect High Prices, Short Supply


The first wave of legal marijuana stores opening in Washington state tomorrow might be just a handful or a couple dozen, reports the Seattle Times. It depends on how many are ready for the state's final inspection and have contracted with growers to have supply. State officials plan to license 334 stores eventually, but that number might drop to 305 because no one applied to sell pot in 29 locations that are allotted licenses. Stores can't be near a lot of things — schools, parks, libraries — so they're allowed only in certain parts of cities.

Colorado opened a few stores on New Year's Day, with long lines and scarce supply, and Washington will have that, too, despite the wait. State officials hope Washington pot stores are “vague on the outside, vogue on the inside.” Stores are allowed a single outdoor sign, a little bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet. Products can't be visible from the street or sidewalk. In-store advertising is strictly limited. Security cameras are required. Some stores might have TVs and sofas for waiting customers. Products are likely to be kept in something like jewelry display cases. Stores can sell only pot-related products. Legally, you can buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana. Because few stores will be open tomorrow and few producers will have harvested crops, expect supply to be scarce and rationed at first. Retail prices are set by the private market, so expect prices to be high at first because of the short supply. The entrepreneur likely to open Seattle's first store said he wants to price grams at $15 to $20 each.

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