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2 States Now Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales To Adults -- And Our Minds Are Blown

Matt Ferner


Washington state joins Colorado Tuesday in allowing the sale of recreational marijuana to adults, delivering another sharp blow to the federal government's long war on drugs.


Washington's Liquor Control Board issued 24 retail marijuana business licenses on Monday, and some retailers said they would open on Tuesday. The state licensed about 80 marijuana producers and processors in March, but there has been concern there hasn't been time to cultivate enough cannabis for the retail debut, raising the possibility of shortages.

"Supply is going to be tight as this market launches," said Brian Smith, communications director for the Liquor Control Board, the agency charged with regulating the nascent retail marijuana market. "This is an emerging market that doesn't exist anywhere in the world. It's a lot different than Colorado. And just like Colorado did when it first opened up, it had some shortages, but Washington's supply system is very robust and in a little bit of time all those suppliers will be feeding into the retail chain and there will be a lot."

Washington's LCB opened the retail application process in November, and was flooded with about 7,000 applications within 30 days.

Few of those hopeful applicants will open retail shops. The LCB capped the number of retail marijuana stores at 334. And, as in Colorado, there are dozens of local bans and moratoriums on recreational marijuana shops, so it may take time for all the new retail outlets to open.

Seattle's Cannabis City, the only licensed marijuana shop in Washington's largest city, will be open with about 10 pounds of pot to sell, owner James Lathrop told The Huffington Post. "We''ll be selling in the $15 to $20 range per gram," Lathrop said. "We expect to sell out that day."

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015