Washington Marijuana Market Mellows

WASHINGTON: Ramsey Hamide looked across the packed shelves and piled boxes of product in the cramped backroom of Main Street Marijuana and stretched out his arms.

“Look at this,” the store manager said, smiling victoriously. “Nonstop, growers are coming, bringing us samples, new products.”

It’s a vastly different world from six months ago, when Main Street, Clark County’s first recreational marijuana store, opened its doors on July 9 to widespread shortages.

For the first few months, Hamide spent days on the road, courting growers across the state and trying to build relationships that would secure at least a modest amount of stock for his mostly barren shelves.

But by November and December, the situation had changed significantly, with growers coming to Vancouver to court him, hawking a wide variety of strains, edibles, lozenges and even some oils and concentrates.

Shortly before he spoke to The Columbian on a December afternoon, a new grower dropped by unannounced with a bag of samples for store employees to try, hoping to make a sale. The asking price per gram was too high, so employees sent him away — something unheard of just six months ago.

Marijuana Business Association Coming To Vancouver, WA

By Sue Vorenberg

WASHINGTON: The Marijuana Business Association will be in Vancouver on Thursday, Sept. 18 for a special free Meetup event at the Vancouver Community Library.The meeting will be at the 901 C Street location from 6-8 p.m. and is sponsored by Viridian Sciences, a Vancouver marijuana industry software company.

Looks like a good event for local biz folks to check out and meet others in the industry in Southwest Washington.

“The reason that MJBA does these things is to empower the local community,” said Dave Rheins, CEO and co-founder of the organization. “So we put together these Meetups to share information, make introductions and really learn who is doing what in the area.”

There will be a few vendor tables and speakers on hand to talk about the industry sector here and the issues it faces. Local companies can also sign up to talk to the group by emailing Morgan@mjba.net.

So far MJBA has scheduled a business presentation and a political presentation from Bob Dingenthal, who is running for Congress against Jaime Herrera-Beutler this fall, for the event.

There will also have open networking time and a chance to meet Mike Davis, who will be the group’s independent representative for the region. (Davis, who lives in Brush Prairie, can be reached at 360-624-4115).

“He came to us from doing other association and business groups,” Rheins said. “He’s here to help be a local facilitator and lend business support to the community.”

So far, MJBA has about 300 members across the state, with a handful in Southwest Washington, including Viridian Sciences, Rheins said.

Membership in the group is $250 a year per business.

Rheins will be at the meeting as will others from the organization. I’m planning on attending as well.

Who else is coming?

Cheers,
-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)