Illegal Dealers Owe Thanks to Washington State’s Marijuana Regulators

Cannabis Buzzard

J.D. Tuccille | June 14, 2016

washingtonstatecapitol2

The state’s doomed scheme for a centrally planned market in pot creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market in the stuff.

Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and the first retail store opened in 2014 in a popular move widely hailed as a success for reform. So how come the authorities are moving to close a pot shops across the state in just a few weeks? Are they actually trying to revive the black market in pot?

Probably not. More likely, political hubris and managerial ambition have overwhelmed basic knowledge of how economic incentives work.

Tacoma ranks among the municipalities where new licensing regulations will have a major impact on the marijuana market, potentially inconveniencing consumers and creating a huge opening for those willing to work outside official channels.

“Last August, there were close to 70 unlicensed operators…

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