WA State Issues First Recreational Pot Licenses How Will Marijuana Stores Change Life as We Know It?
Today the Washington State Liquor Control Board issued the first 24 Recreational Marijuana sales licenses – including one on Main Street here in my hometown of Bellevue. Some of the stores will open as soon as tomorrow. Even though I am no longer a consumer of pot, I am tempted to go in to see what they look like and how they will be doing business. I suspect they will be a lot like the medical marijuana dispensaries that I’ve been in, with lots of security, but without all the paperwork – or medical ID card or recommendation needed.
Last week I heard on the radio that the average price of pot at these stores will be $10 to $15 a gram. That price seems very reasonable – especially considering that when I first started smoking pot nearly 40 years, good weed was $8-10 a gram. What wasn’t mentioned is the huge tax that the state has chosen to put on ‘recreational’ marijuana. Instead of seeing the benefits of charging a reasonable sales tax – or even the standard state sales tax of 6.5% + local ‘surtax’ for a maximum of 9.6%, with it’s infinite wisdom, our state has chosen to charge the normal sales tax, plus a ‘sin tax’ which is supposed to add another estimated 44%, leaving recreational pot users in Washington to pay over 50% in taxes – IF they choose to purchase their pot from state approved stores.
My personal belief is that beyond first visits and purchases for the curious, the state approved recreational marijuana stores will not be getting nearly as much business as other legal ‘drug’ shops like Starbucks or any bar that serves cocktails. I’m really glad that I no longer have to worry about it, but if I were still a dope smoker, I certainly would not be buying it at a place where I had to pay over 50% in taxes …
What do YOU think is going to happen here in Washington state as the first legal pot stores start to open? Would you be willing to pay top dollar – and over 50% in sales taxes for the convenience of being able to walk into the store and pick up a bag of weed?
I’m also curious to hear if you think these new stores will lead to more people trying and smoking weed … Even though I do believe that marijuana should be legal (we have way to many unenforceable laws), given my history with marijuana, I’m not an advocate and cannot recommend that people even try it. Just because it is legal, does not make it right. Or smart.
Since I have become a non-pot smoker, I have taken on being a role model – and would be happy to speak to any group about why people (especially kids) should not smoke the dope. I’m easy to reach – just google “Joe Connector”.