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The moment that residents of the state of Washington have been waiting breathlessly for has finally arrived: the state government officially issued licenses to several recreational cannabis dispensaries early this morning. An investor from Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis gave an interview to the AP at 2:30 AM PST this morning, confirming that their business has received a license to open for retail sales.
News outlets have been predicting a widespread recreational cannabis shortage in the state of Washington because only 80 growing licenses have been issued. Still, as many as two dozen dispensaries reportedly received licenses early this morning and may open their doors as soon as 8 AM tomorrow, July 8th, 2014. Multiple stores across the state, from Seattle to Bellingham to Spokane are working to make sure they’re ready to be part of Washington’s own green rush.
Those willing to brave long lines for the first day of legal recreational cannabis sales in Washington will be paying for the privilege: prices are expected to start at about $25 per gram. Some folks are highly critical of the model being used in Washington, which includes a substantial tax (25% at each level of transfer), but most are still excited because a recreational market, however flawed, is better than an unregulated black market and an unnecessary criminal subclass.
Those who want to purchase cannabis on the open market may find that waiting in line is worth their time; there are reportedly only 440 pounds of cannabis expected to be made available from the initial harvest. Some growers are asking as much as $4,000 per pound before the 25% tax is factored in.
Be ready to wait, and be ready to pay. But most be all, be grateful that you can do something that people in 48 other states still can’t.
Want more Washington state cannabis news? Read Ladybud‘s coverage here.
Photo Credit: Audrius Meskauskas under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons