— Reset.Me (@resetmenews) July 8, 2014
This is a historic day in Washington State as the first legal recreational marijuana sale was made around 8:00 am this morning. A year and a half after the voters approved marijuana legalization, there is now finally a way for adults 21 and over to legally buy marijuana under Washington State’s new regulatory system, but it is not exactly easy to do at the moment.
On Monday the Washington Liquor Control Board issued the first marijuana retail licenses to only these 24 stores and just a handful of them were able to get everything ready to open their doors today. Due to the limited supply from the few licensed growers that have already establish their operations and the very small number of stores opening today, expect prices to be high and waits to be long. Shortages and store imposed limits are a real possibility.
If you want know about what this first day experience is like you should check out people reporting from on the ground, but it is very important to remember these reports provide only a snapshot of an unique historic moment. One shouldn’t draw any long term conclusions or make big predictions based on how things are going or what prices are set at in these first few days or weeks.
The system is very slowly being ramped up. This is just a very small beginning to show progress is being made after several big delays. In the coming months supply and options should increase as more licensed growers get set up and more stores open across the state.
Just like we saw in Colorado, prices should come down and choices increase. Only then will we have a true sense of what the market is like and what regulatory adjustment should be made.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy