Implementation of Washington's marijuana legalization initiative has been a long, hurdle-ridden road. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana during the 2012 Election. But whereas Colorado's implementation has been mostly smooth and started January 1st, Washington's implementation has been much slower. As of the writing of this post, recreational marijuana sales are still illegal in Washington.
But that is all changing July 8th when roughly 20 marijuana retail outlets will open in Washington. Many retail license winners were hoping for a July 1st open date, but they will have to wait one more week. As an Oregon resident, I am very excited to see stores open. It's not hard to find marijuana where I live, but I still have to go through the black market, and I can't wait to visit a store and make at least one legal purchase. Per the The Spokesman Review:
Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Liquor Control Board, said the agency expects to issue about 20 licenses for retail marijuana stores on July 7, and those licensees could open their stores the next day. They won't have to open that soon, she said, but most probably will take advantage of being among the first licensees.
After that first batch of licenses, the agency will continue to approve retailers who were selected by lottery and can prove they have all the necessary equipment, security and training in place.
Marijuana will not be cheap in Washington once sales start. The amount of people that want to buy marijuana will far outweigh the marijuana that is available at stores. The same thing happened when marijuana sales started in Colorado in January. As a result, opening day prices reached $100 per eighth at some locations. How much marijuana will cost in Washington is anyone's guess, but I have heard $25 per gram from a lot of people.