The state’s licensed cannabis stores are set to open next week, but “they won’t have much to sell,” Sullum says:
A slow state licensing process for marijuana producers, combined with the difficulty of obtaining local approval for grow operations, will result in shortages that are apt to be more severe than those seen in Colorado after recreational sales began there in January. The result could be prices almost twice as high as those charged by medical marijuana dispensaries and black-market dealers. … [P]ot store customers will face taxes that are projected to make retail prices about 60 percent higher than they would otherwise be. Add to those factors the costs of establishing businesses that comply with state and local regulations, and the upshot, as I explain in my recent Reason cover story about legalization in Washington, is that prices for legal pot will be substantially higher than current black-market prices.