State says pot sales could have 'rocky' start



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Posted on June 20, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 5:46 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash.—There may not be enough pot to keep customers happy when recreational sales become legal in Washington next month, according to the Liquor Control Board.

“It’s going to be a little rocky at first,” said board spokesperson Brian Smith, “but you know, Washington’s system is pretty robust.”

Smith said the state is expecting to issue 20 retail licenses in the first week of July. The first store could open 24 hours later.

Smith said the first retail licenses will be issued to sellers in more populated areas like Seattle and Spokane.

Retailers and growers have raised concerns about not enough pot being available for sale in July.
Since the first producer license was issued in May, more than 70 have been awarded across the state.

Smith said the state has licensed an equivalent of 10 football fields’ worth of space for growing pot. Not all of that pot will be ready for sale in July.

Jeff Gilmore’s first plants won’t be ready until August. He blames the slow licensing process.

“I think they’ve taken more than their share of time,” said Gilmore, who applied for a grow license last November, but only received his license three weeks ago.

Smith said overall the state has worked quickly to establish a legalized pot system.

“This is an emerging market that exists nowhere else in the world,” said Smith. “Over time this system’s going to refine, it’s going to mature. Everything’s going to be just fine.”