SPOKANE, Wash. -- Washingtonians have to wait a little longer to be able to legally buy recreational marijuana, but the delay may mean very little for local retailers.
On Tuesday, the Liquor Control Board announced the sale of recreational marijuana in Washington state will start later than many expected. The first retail licenses for recreational marijuana are now set to be issued on July 7, 2014 instead of the original expected date of July 1. That meant stores could start selling pot as early as July 8, 2014.
MORE: WA Liquor Control Board announces delay for buying marijuana
In spite of the later date, the owner of Spokane Organic and Hydroponic Supply, Paul Mihara, said there just won’t be enough marijuana available right away to meet the overwhelming demand in Spokane County.
“I think we're going to see a little bit of a shortage at first,” said Mihara. “We have about two producers, I believe, that are cropping, which means taking down plants getting for sale. Of the 10 or 12 [producers] we've dealt with, most are at the beginning stages of growing.”
One of those producers is Sean Green of Northwest Medical Supply. Green wouldn't divulge the exact amount of marijuana he would have available for retail stores on July 8 but did tell KREM 2 he was already prepared to go. Green said he should be able to replenish as soon as his first round of crops are sold.
Mihara expected, however, that things may not run incredibly smooth for the marijuana industry right out of the gate. He predicted it would take some time for things to stabilize.
“I would say a year is a pretty good estimate. It's going to take some time to figure out how their production is going to work best,” he said.
According to Mihara, an ounce at a retail store will cost over $400 compared to about $230 on the street. He said people who have been buying from their dealer will continue to do so. It will be the people who want to experiment, Mihara said, that will be the new customers in Washington’s new legal marijuana industry.