WASHINGTON: Six weeks into Washington’s experiment with legal recreational marijuana, the industry continues to be a volatile one with extreme pot shortages, complaints about high prices, a backlog of growers, processors and retailers awaiting state licensing and barely a trickle of specialty items like marijuana-infused edibles and concentrates.
“From a business perspective, from a customer service perspective, this is the worst case scenario you could ask for,” said one of New Vansterdam’s owners, Brian Budz, sitting in the shop’s empty lobby. “When your customers are unhappy about unscheduled closures, it’s very hard to build a reliable customer base.”
Washington’s rocky rollout stands in stark contrast to Colorado, where the state relied on its established medical marijuana industry to shape its recreational one. Washington’s medical marijuana dispensaries remain unregulated – much like Oregon’s before this year. (Oregon began regulating medical marijuana dispensaries in March.)