Washington Cannabis Industry Faces Growing Pains
July 3rd, 2014
Policy, Top News
Washington became the second U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana, following Colorado’s move to do the same, but the former has experienced a much bumpier road. Many hopeful cannabis businesses failed to secure a retail license in the state’s lottery system, while many businesses that got lucky in the lottery have since been disqualified for things like being too close to schools or playgrounds.
The Liquor Control Board expects to issue its first 15 to 20 retail marijuana licenses on July 7, 2014 – months later than originally anticipated – and only one shop in Seattle was actually prepared for its final inspection. Unlike Washington, Colorado already had a regulated medical system in place, which made it much easier to transition dispensaries to selling recreationally in January.
Marijuana growers have experienced similar pains. Despite more than 2,600 people applying to grow marijuana last year, the board’s 18 licensing investigators have been overwhelmed and only 80 have been approved. Many of those that have been approved won’t begin harvesting in time to actually supply the industry, meaning that shortages are likely and prices could run more than $25 per gram.
Of course, there are also success stories amid the hurdles faced by many growers and retailers in the state. Some approved growers have already started to harvest large amounts of the drug and are well positioned to realize significant revenues driven by the delays. Many others are hoping that the state regulators will become more efficient over time and overcome the hurdles faced today.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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