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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This Guy Just Bought the First Recreational Pot in Washington State

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:24 AM

THE FIRST LEGAL WEED SALE Two grams of OG Pearl Kush!
  • AH
  • THE FIRST LEGAL WEED SALE Cale Holdsworth of Kansas hold up two grams of OG Pearl Kush.

It's official, folks: recreational pot is legal in Washington and the stuff is flying off the shelves at Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham. The line of customers is not letting up.

Cale Holdsworth, 24, was the man to make history with the first purchase: two grams of OG Pearl Kush, from a Bremerton grower, for the special sale price of $26.50 ($6.68 in tax). He's in town from Abilene, Kansas visiting family and affably did one interview after another with the dozens of reporters on the scene.

"What better way to participate and support the cause than coming down and being here for this," he told me. "This is mainstream, and now it's finally legal and we can enjoy it! This is another step in nationwide legalization, which I think we should strive for." He says he's eagerly awaiting the day when Kansas comes around.

Plenty of Canadian journalists are here, asking questions about what this means for their pathway to marijuana legalization. Activists are posing for the cameras with "Drug War Ends Here" and "No One Deserves to Go to Prison For A Plant" signs. There's even a dude wearing bright green Washington state flag as a cape.

Meanwhile, buyers file out beaming and holding up their little brown bags.

HERE IT IS The first receipt!
  • HERE IT IS The first receipt!

And across the freeway? 2020 Solutions, which planned to open but hit a late night snag with their quarantined supply. Manager Aaron Nelson said trying to be ready today was like riding a rollercoaster which suddenly disappeared. "There's no words" to describe the disappointment, he said, but they'll try to open by Thursday. In lieu of weed, 2020 is offering donuts and coffee this morning.

Its been almost 90 minutes since opening, but the line isnt letting up.
  • AH
  • It's been almost 90 minutes since opening, but the line isn't letting up.

Kevin Nelson says pot prohibition has been the linchpin of the drug war, and he cant wait to see it go.
  • AH
  • Kevin Nelson says pot prohibition has been the linchpin of the drug war, and he can't wait to see it go.

70-year-old Lee Malone says he has plenty of weed at home and has been smoking since 1963--his frst day in college. Hes not here to buy, because the prices are too high. Just wanted to witness the moment.
  • AH
  • 70-year-old Lee Malone says he has plenty of weed at home and has been smoking since 1963—his frst day in college. He's not here to buy, because the prices are too high. Just wanted to witness the moment.

 

Comments (27) RSS

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Banna 1
Wow, it's really early for stoners to be up; I wonder if everyone just stayed up all night instead?
Posted by Banna http://www.ucp.org on July 8, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
2
Lazy stoner joke is lazy.
Posted by leighzbohns on July 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
AFinch 3
Congratulations Washington State! Demonstration Proof.
Posted by AFinch on July 8, 2014 at 10:02 AM · Report this
4
What a joke, $20-25/grams? I'll stick with the delivery services, thank you very much.
Posted by pioneer on July 8, 2014 at 10:02 AM · Report this
COMTE 5
So, at this rate it looks like the quasi-legal delivery services will be forced to shut down - sometime in the next decade or so.
Posted by COMTE on July 8, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 6
Based on the amount of coverage, this news about pot may be more important than the recent SPU shooting or the Oso mudslide.
Ansel, talk Miley Cyrus into wearing a Jewish costume like Macklamore, and maybe next week you'll have your biggest story of the year!
Posted by dnt trust me on July 8, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
7
@pioneer

Isn't it more like $13 a gram. The post says $26.50 for two grams with $6.68 in taxes. So retail is actually under $10 a gram which isn't too bad. Grew up paying $40 for an 1/8th (3.5 grams) so this isn't far off. It's not cheap and it's not what I pay these days but it's not outrageous.
Posted by BusyB on July 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 8
@7, that is a special sale price if you look a little closer. Earlier stories about this show the some of the places are selling cheaper today only. Expect prices like that to double up soon.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on July 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
9
@6 Setting aside what appears to be a factual error regarding relative amounts of coverage, pot stores finally opening, as well as other components our changing drug policy in this state, are arguably much more important, novel, and frankly newsworthy by orders of magnitude, than any of the alternatives listed in your post.
Posted by Because It Means Destruction Of Innocent Lives on July 8, 2014 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
I hope we don't let our corrupt government sell out to corporate fucks who will sell cheap shake to poor people and the good stuff to the rich while denying us the right to grow our own. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course they will.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 8, 2014 at 10:36 AM · Report this
11
@8 Hopefully competition will help to drive the price down because that's just ridiculous. Isn't the idea here to kill the black market. Also, anyone know what the prices are like in Colorado?
Posted by BusyB on July 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
12
What is the tax on legalized marijuana? Is there a state tax on top of the local city sales tax?
Posted by Inquiring Minds on July 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
sperifera 13
@11 - My friend bought an eighth for $40 and got a gram of kief for $5 as a bonus in Denver a couple months ago.
Posted by sperifera on July 8, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
14
@12, there's a 25% tax. I don't think there's any additional sales tax beyond that.

Good to see the first sale was to a cross-border-pot-shopper. That'll keep the police nice and busy.

http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/id…
Tom Gorman heads a program in Denver that works with law enforcement to track drug busts in the region. He said Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas are already starting to see the effects of Colorado's legalized pot.
Posted by ChefJoe on July 8, 2014 at 10:54 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 15
@9

Well stated. I considered, and you're on top it, the factual error. For Vegas kicks, I bet on my calculations.
Posted by dnt trust me on July 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
16
Hrm, I guess this is bellingham, which has its own bag ban and charges for paper bags. Should he have paid $0.05 for that paper bag ?
Posted by ChefJoe on July 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM · Report this
fletc3her 17
Why do people who currently buy pot on the black market or from a dispensary care what the price is? The black market was just as illegal yesterday as it is today. The dispensaries are doing business as usual. Just carry on.

The market will figure out the right price. For occasional users I can't see $10/joint being much of a concern.
Posted by fletc3her on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM · Report this
18
@17 I have to disagree. I think we should be trying to destroy the black market. Why should pot shops only be for occasional users?
Posted by BusyB on July 8, 2014 at 11:19 AM · Report this
AFinch 19
@10 - the existence of a legal market will make grow your own for your own consumption defacto legal - it will be impossible to enforce. Sure, larger scale (commercial) growers will have to comply (eventually) with the tax and regulatory schemes (and the associated higher prices) but ultimately, so long as the cost of the legal market is at least close to the black market, people all throughout the supply chain will pay the premium to be legal.
Posted by AFinch on July 8, 2014 at 11:41 AM · Report this
brandon 20
Of course it's a 20 something skinny white boy!
Posted by brandon on July 8, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 21
@19 In the current police state, nothing is de facto legal. Those things will still be all the excuse the police need to raid your home and shoot your grandma.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 8, 2014 at 11:53 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 22
Even if the retail stores are substantially more expensive than the black market they're going to do just fine. The casual pot smoker doesn't want to deal with the black market or commit fraud to get a medical card. They don't mind paying a premium for something that is a luxury good.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on July 8, 2014 at 12:02 PM · Report this
brandon 23
I'd love to see dispensaries and the black market go the way of the dodo, but we aren't there yet. If you think about it weed shouldn't cost much, the actual cost to grow is pretty low, its just a plant after all, especially if you could grow it outside and not use all that hydroponic equipment and chemicals. All the markup has been either due to being on the black market, supply and demand, taxes, and regulations.

Posted by brandon on July 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 24
@23 exactly. There is no reason that with the legal standing we have now that it shouldn't cost less than average black market. Even with taxes and such a serious profit can still be made even beating black market prices.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on July 8, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Citizen J 25
Well, it's gonna be expensive. We all know there are postings online. I've used Seattle.Janeslist.org to some success. It's a new site but specifically for seattle. I'm darn sure not paying $25 a gram for anything other than hundred year old brandy!

Posted by Citizen J http://seattle.janeslist.org on July 8, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
26
It will get cheaper. The legal industry is brand new. They have very few licensed growers right now, and have only approved about 13 acres worth of growing space. That's nothing. They won't have enough product. Sellers will sell for as much as they can and competition will not drive prices down. That will happen later though.

The government needs to get real and license a lot more growers and stop limiting the area on which growers can grow to such a great extent. I think even with the highest level commercial growing license a grower can only grow on 20 something thousand square feet, less than half an acre. What farmer grows a crop of anything on a commercial basis on less than half an acre? With a lot of crops most farmers are growing a lot more than a 100 acres on average. They need to go big because competition and the economy of scale is what drives prices down.

They're being too careful in Washington, and the rules they have now guarantee shortages in product, super high prices, and that there will be no mid grade or lower grade product because everyone will be trying to produce the strongest product they can produce so they can maximize profits from their tiny plots. Someday we'll have farmers growing it in huge fields under the sun, rather than expensive electric lights. They'll be making their money from high volume sales rather than high prices and the market will dictate the price like with other agricultural commodities.
Posted by BigJohn on July 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
27
It will get cheaper. The legal industry is brand new. They have very few licensed growers right now, and have only approved about 13 acres worth of growing space. That's nothing. They won't have enough product. Sellers will sell for as much as they can and competition will not drive prices down. That will happen later though.

The government needs to get real and license a lot more growers and stop limiting the area on which growers can grow to such a great extent. I think even with the highest level commercial growing license a grower can only grow on 20 something thousand square feet, less than half an acre. What farmer grows a crop of anything on a commercial basis on less than half an acre? With a lot of crops most farmers are growing a lot more than a 100 acres on average. They need to go big because competition and the economy of scale is what drives prices down.

They're being too careful in Washington, and the rules they have now guarantee shortages in product, super high prices, and that there will be no mid grade or lower grade product because everyone will be trying to produce the strongest product they can produce so they can maximize profits from their tiny plots. Someday we'll have farmers growing it in huge fields under the sun, rather than expensive electric lights. They'll be making their money from high volume sales rather than high prices and the market will dictate the price like with other agricultural commodities.
Posted by BigJohn on July 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM · Report this

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