Last one to leave, turn off the coffee pot …
10.16.14 Olympia – WA State Liquor Control Board Member, Chris Marr, is stepping down at the end of his term in Jan. So is Chairwoman Sharon Foster.
The WSLCB only has 3 members to begin with. 2 members leaving means 1 person is responsible for overseeing the Cannabis Industry at least until other Board Members are recruited.
What is very odd, strange odd – the WA State Legislature basically defunded the WSLCB after State Liquor stores closed down.
There’s no money to pay 2 Board Members for the necessary full-time work they put in. Of course they’re leaving. Who will take on such an immensely difficult job if he/she won’t be paid adequately?
How will this affect the Cannabis Industry in terms $$$$?
Washington’s Legal Marijuana Experiment
Can pot regulators beat the law of supply and demand?
“Steve Sarich, executive director of the Cannabis Action Coalition, sang a similar tune. “They’re gunning for us,” he told an audience of medical marijuana activists. “We need to stop the liquor control board from taking over control of medical cannabis. ¦We are not going to give up our rights.”
Medical use of marijuana, which has been allowed since 1998 in Washington and since 2000 in Colorado, helped pave the way for broader legalization in both states. But Washington, unlike Colorado, never got around to licensing and regulating medical marijuana suppliers, who operate in a legal gray area. So while Colorado’s medical marijuana industry evolved into that state’s recreational marijuana industry, legalization in Washington seems destined to sweep away most of the existing cannabusinesses. That prospect has aroused resistance from the current players and anxiety among their customers, who worry that the new stores, which will be regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB), may not be able to serve their needs at an affordable price-a concern heightened by the likelihood that the state legislature will sharply reduce the amount of marijuana patients are allowed to grow for their own use.
The fact that Colorado’s marijuana industry was better developed and legally more secure helps explain why recreational consumers there were able to buy pot from state-licensed stores at the beginning of 2014, while consumers in Washington are still waiting. “Colorado already had the industry built up,” Holcomb says. “It was simply a matter of changing the status of operations.” The LCB’s latest projection is that pot stores will begin opening in July, but that may prove overly optimistic. Even if some retailers do open for business this summer, there may not be enough marijuana to supply them. Despite its advantages, Colorado experienced initial shortages that sent prices soaring. In Washington, which is moving more slowly partly so that growers can be licensed and operating before retailers are, the problem may be even worse.
In fact, Washington’s regulators are deliberately engineering a shortage. Keen to prevent diversion of newly legal marijuana to other states, which might trigger a federal crackdown, the LCB is imposing a cap on production and strictly limiting the number of retailers. The amount of marijuana cultivation allowed by the state is calculated to supply just 25 percent of the market, while the number of retail licenses will be much smaller than the number of existing medical marijuana suppliers. Seattle, which has about 200 dispensaries (including delivery services), has been allotted just 21 state-licensed pot stores. Legalization in Washington seems to be replacing something resembling a free market-the largely unregulated medical marijuana business-with something closer to Soviet-style central planning.”
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