I read an article that Colorado is generating less revenue for marijuana sales then originally projected. The reason they give is most people still buy from illegal dealers because it is a lot cheaper. Here in Washington state, I am sure we are having some of the same problems and I am not sure if they can fix it -- but I have a few ideas.

For example, here are a few examples from an international survey:

  • My friends who are broke still deal with dealers, my friends who have jobs generally just swing by a shop if they need it. My friends who are broke usually smoke a lot more than my friends who have jobs.
  • I've known great dealers who were just like a store. Open pretty much all hours, except early morning, variety in the selection, great prices. Call ahead and swing by anytime and he got you.
  • At least double in Seattle. I was going to go to the store with $60 one day, but then my dealer said he'd give me a quarter for $60. I'd probably get 3g for that at the store. Plus it was rush hour and I wasn't trying to deal with that. I want to support the store but those prices are ridonk.
  • The prices in Bothell were three times as high, and the weed was harvested just two weeks prior to purchase, meaning it was uncured.

In order for legal marijuana to work, the legal retail shops need to be much more competitive with the black market. Right now if you try to buy legal marijuana in Prosser, you will spend from anywhere between 50-100% more then you would illegally. I can't believe that lawmakers would think the established black market would just go away with any alternative even if it is much more expensive.

If this is going to work, they need to do a couple things quickly. First, they should adapt the medical market laws so they don't interfere with recreational sales and the revenue they generate. They also need to provide a better legal product for a cheaper price. That will only happen with adding more legal growers so the increase in quantity available will drive the price down. Right now there are not enough growers for the demand and that raises prices to the point most people still buy illegally.