Washington State will finally start legal recreational marijuana sales next month. Implementing legal recreational marijuana sales has been a very slow process in Washington. Both Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana during the 2012 Election. However, Colorado started legal sales in January of this year, over half a year before Washington.
As an Oregon resident, I have been eagerly awaiting the rollout of sales in Washington. I plan on heading up there for weekend trips on a regular basis, and plan to frequent the marijuana stores as much as possible. The main question I have, which is a question I'm sure many people are wondering, is 'how much will legal marijuana cost in Washington?' Right now there is no definitive answer, but I think it's safe to say that it will be expensive to start.
The economic principle of supply and demand will be on full display once legal sales start in Washington, just as it was in Colorado when sales started. Anyone who tracked marijuana prices in Colorado during the first week of sales probably got sticker shock just as I did. The first transaction I saw was an 1/8th for $50, which is more than twice what it costs me to get the same amount here in Oregon of similar quality. By the end of the first day I was hearing prices as high as $100 for an 1/8th. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that figure.
However, it's not suprising to see price gouging when supply is limited, and customers are lined up out the door. Washington will have only a handful of stores open at the beginning of July, and open more and more each week that goes by. I expect prices to be similar to Colorado at first, and just as it did in Colorado, prices will slowly drop as more stores open and the hype wears off. What the prices will level out at is anyone's guess. I hope the prices aren't too high though, otherwise people will be turned off and will go back to the blackmarket, which is bad news for advocates that billed legalization as a way to eliminate the black market.
How much do you think marijuana will cost in Washington? And how much is 'too much?'