Now Decriminalized in Washington State, Recreational Weed Infrastructure Ain’t Kush

In November, Oregon voters will decide whether Measure 91 (recreational weed) gets passed.  Measure 91 is akin to Washington State’s I-502.  However, despite their prospective kinship there seems to be a slew of reading material lately suggesting how Oregon should avoid and / or learn from the mistakes that have hampered legalized weed in Washington State since the voters passed I-502.  Unlike, let’s say, Colorado (where recreational marijuana is also legal) who by comparison seem to have hit the ground running successfully since there kindred bill was passed in 2012.

One such article I read recently was written by Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury titled “Supply and the Man” with the headline “Pay Attention to Washington’s Difficulties with Legal Weed.  Oregon Might be Next.”

The article identifies several factors in Washington State that lead to these “difficulties”:  limitation on canopy size for growers; growers demanding prices from retailers significantly higher than a buyer would find on the black-market (thus leading to what most voters hoped legalized weed would eradicate — the underground market); retailers diverting deliveries from other retailers via “price gouging” and bidding wars for product; squabbling between indoor and outdoor growers; leaving legal weed in the hands and discretion of the Washington State Liquor Control Board instead of perhaps in the hands of the department of health or agriculture [in Colorado legal weed is regulated by the Department of Revenue]; limited supply; restrictions on the number of licenses people could receive; slow application process, etc.

Great article.  Definitely a worthwhile read for those interested in following the decriminalization of marijuana.  To read the article in its entirely, please click on the following link.