Want Legal Weed in Washington? Get Ready to Pay Top Dollar.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 29 2014 2:19 PM

Want Legal Weed in Washington? Get Ready to Pay Top Dollar.

70713555
A budtender pours marijuana from a jar at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, California

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

As the first stores that will sell marijuana in Washington state get ready to open, there’s one tiny issue that should be worrying those eager to smoke legal bud: there’s almost no weed. The Associated Press talks to a liquor control board official who says that so far shortages seem inevitable. Only two licensed growers have submitted samples to the sole lab that has been certified to test the legal marijuana and they represent a maximum harvest of 190 pounds.

The growers that have managed to get ahead of the game are taking advantage of the situation. One says it has managed to sell most of its harvest for $4,000 a pound, meaning almost $9 per gram—and that’s before counting the mark-up of the retailer and all the taxes. Unlicensed medical dispensaries sell weed for $8 to $12 per gram.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 17 2014 5:21 PM Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS But the next president might. 
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM Should Men Still Open Doors for Women? Or is it ungentlemanly to do so at all?  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 4:36 PM Is Nonfiction the Patriarch of Literary Genres?
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:31 PM Did You Catch Walter White’s Blink-and-You’ll-Miss-It Cameo in Godzilla?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 5:26 PM If Fixing Global Warming Is Free, What’s the Holdup?
  Health & Science
Jurisprudence
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?