Retail marijuana went online in Washington on Tuesday July 7, and Cannabis City Manager Amber McGowan knew before they opened that the 10lbs they had in stock was not going to be near enough to keep their doors open. Being Seattle’s first and only retail marijuana shop, Cannabis City ran out of product and had to close their doors three days later.
Murmurs of shortages had started months before though, and McGowan said the shop was only able to stay open as long as it had by limiting customers to 0.2 ounces (six grams) per purchase, rather than the legal limit of 1.0 ounce (28 grams).
The shortages are expected to diminish as the various growing operations start producing, but until then the market is likely to see a binge and purge like flow as crops reach the retail outlets and sellout due to the high demand.
This ebb and flow is likely to hurt the retailers the most. With bills, payroll and lease payments due every month, and an unpredictable flow of product to sell, keeping business open may pose an increasing challenge. Makes you wonder why BOTEC Analysis Corporation, the consulting firm that steered Washington State Liqueur Control Board, didn’t take a business failure rate into account with their launch model.
Being a pioneer will always come with its challenges though.