From the Good Problems Department: Washington state is growing way more pot than it can sell

Pot 480


Washington state legalized marijuana in 2012. The first dispensaries opened in July of last year. So it took two years for the state to figure out how to best get weed to people, and exactly six months for people to roll over in bed instead of going out for more. Though there were chronic shortages when Washington first put marijuana up for sale this past summer, now, the state has the opposite of that problem. There’s too much pot in Washington.

This past summer, the state had only licensed a quarter of the two million acres it set aside for marijuana crops, and there were only a few dozen farmers who had the legal authority to grow. Now, there are 336 licensed marijuana farmers (isn’t that a great job title? “Marijuana farmer.” Something to be proud of at Thanksgiving), and prices have fallen so steeply, and so quickly, that the state’s dispensaries are competing with medical marijuana sellers. Says Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike’s in Seattle, “It’s crazy what we’re selling weed for, it’s so cheap. Wholesale prices are literally half of what they were in September.”

What’s that mean in practical terms? Uncle Ike’s sells at anywhere from $23 to just $10 for a gram. That’s still about twice what the black market’s got you set up for–but it’s legal, and requires neither back alley handshakes nor shady doins to obtain.

According to the Washington State Liquor Board (WSLB), which regulates marijuana sales, the state sold 1,172,000 grams of marijuana from July through November, and grew 11,500,000 grams from November through June. And, while the plant can keep for years if you stuff it into plastic bags, flush the bags with nitrogen to keep the bud from oxidizing, and then store the crop in a cool, dark place, the real question here is: Where the hell are all the good Washingtonians who were so excited about the amendment passing in the first place? Why aren’t there lines out the door? You can pick some up on the way to Seahawks and Sounders games. And all you people out in Spokane and Walla Walla and Bellingham? What’ve you got going on, once Gonzaga basketball and putt putt are crossed off the list? Get thee to a dispensary. There are 7,061,530 people in your good state; that means everybody can have a gram, including children, and there’ll be enough left to put your grandparents to sleep. No excuses, guys. You’ve got a reputation to maintain.

Growing will slow, now that we’ve reached the winter months, but flights from the East Coast and Midwest to that emerald gem on the Pacific have rarely been as reasonably priced. If you believe it’s your duty as an American to help out the good people of Washington with their newest and greenest problem, hop on board.


(Photo credits: WENN; Brian Levin)

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