State of Washington Estimates Legal Pot Will Be $12 A Gram


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Legal marijuana in Washington state will average $12 a gram, according to the state Liquor Control Board, which has been put in charge of regulating, taxing and selling cannabis in the state by the voters’ approval of I-502. At least a year will be spent studying and setting up the marijuana distribution system before adults 21 and older and actually walk in a store and buy weed.

The Liquor Control Board has released a new fact sheet [PDF] on a website designed to help Washington residents keep track of progress to develop regulations for selling and growing marijuana, reports the Spokane Spokesman.

“Based on average retail mark-up prices, estimated producer price is $3 per gram and estimated processor price is $6 per gram,” the fact sheet states.

Besides $250 application fee and $1,000 annual licensing renewal fees — with separate licenses for producer, processor, and retailer —  there’s a 25 percent marijuana tax paid by producers at the wholesale level, 25 percent paid by the processor upon sale to a retailer; and another 25 percent excise tax at the retail level. Estimates have varied wildly on the amount of tax revenue which will be generated; some say federal preemption will prevent the pot stores from ever opening.
The number of marijuana outlets per county will be controlled; in other words, once a certain number of outlets are open, no more licenses will be awarded.
• Marijuana producers will be those who grow cannabis for sale at wholesale to processors, and allows for production, possession, delivery and distribution.
• Marijuana processors will process, package, and label cannabis and cannabis-infused products for sale at wholesale to marijuana retailers, and allows for processing, packaging, possession, delivery and distribution.
• Marijuana retailers will sell ready-to-use marijuana and marijuana-infused products at retail outlets designated by the Liquor Control Board.

The Fix

Retail outlets selling marijuana may not employ anyone under the age of 21, nor allow anyone under 21 to enter the premises. Outlets will be authorized only to sell marijuana, marijuana products, and paraphernalia.
Retailers will be allowed one sign identifying the outlet’s business or trade name, not to exceed 1,600 square inches. They are not allowed to display marijuana or marijuana related products in a manner that is visible to the public.
The initial provisions of I-502 (decriminalization of one ounce, and marijuana DUI law) will go into effect on December 6, 2012, 30 days after the election.
The Liquor Control Board has until December 1, 2013, to establish the procedures and criteria necessary to implement the production, processing, and retail sale of marijuana.
Individuals will still be subject to criminal penalties if they possess more than an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products, or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids. Marijuana paraphernalia such as smoking pipes are now legal to possess.
Possession of any quantity of marijuana or cannabis products by a person under 21 years of age will still result in criminal prosecution.