Wait—what I meant was, Washington State has a pot surplus. Becky Olson reports for Marijuana Business Daily:
A big shakeout is materializing in Washington State’s recreational cannabis industry as businesses struggle to determine the ideal balance between supply and demand. From July 2014 through November 2015, licensed growers produced about 16,000 more pounds of marijuana than the amount retail stores sold, according to state data. That surplus equates to roughly two months of supply for the market, based on average cannabis sales through recreational shops recently.
Since the rec industry launched in mid-2014, Washington’s newly licensed cultivators have produced more marijuana than rec shops sold every single month. The cumulative production surplus stood at 850 pounds just three months after the first rec store opened—which equated to 2.5 months of supply—and has soared since then. A growing surplus for an entire market, not just an individual producer, can signal some big problems.
Olson reports that "scores of cultivation companies" have already gone under in Washington state and she predicts more will go under if desperate growers flood the market and drive down prices. Marijuana industry consultants—which are now a thing—are urging growers to produce "higher-quality products" and to get, you know, more "corporate savvy" generally and overall and stuff. (Maybe by hiring marijuana industry consultants to tell them what to do?) For their part, growers and retailers would probably like to see Washington state pot users smoking and eating a hell of a lot more pot. Olson predicts that growers and retailers in Washington state "will eventually find equilibrium and settle down," but "the shakeout" will continue until that happens.
Here's a dirty, low-down, corporate-savvy and probably-unworkable-for-legal-reasons idea: Washington state pot growers back ballot initiatives in nearby states that legalize the sale of recreational marijuana but not the production of it. New markets for Washington state pot, no new competitors for Washington state pot growers!
We can expect a lot more cultivation companies to go under—we can expect all of them to go under—if Chris Christie is our next president...
During last night's Republican presidential debate, three of four candidates who addressed marijuana legalization—Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Carly Fiorina—agreed that the issue should be left for the states to decide. The outlier, as usual, was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has promised that if he is elected president he will vigorously enforce the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug.
Chris Christie is not going to be our next president.
In other predictions: One day in the not-too-distant future the federal government will shower rich and powerful marijuana growers/campaign contributors with farm subsidies, buy up all the surplus pot, and announce the creation of a Strategic Pot Reserve.
UPDATE: If a staid, mainstream, middle-of-the-road program like PBS Newshour mentions marijuana with other cash crops...
...then legal recreational marijuana is here to stay. Sorry, President Christie.