TIME States

Washington State Braces for Sales of Recreational Pot

Medicinal Marijuana Supplier Caring for Plants
Cavan Images / Adam Weiss

Amid concerns of weed shortages

Recreational pot is poised to go on sale this week in Washington nearly two years after the state voted to legalize the marijuana trade, but uncertainty and concerns of a weed shortage already abound.

Sale of the drug became legal Monday morning and licensed retailers buying their supplies from licensed growers will be able to sell their product by Tuesday.

Washington and Colorado voted to legalize the pot trade in Nov. 2012, becoming the first states to do so. But while Colorado, which had a robust existing medical marijuana market, has overseen a legal recreational market since the start of the year, Washington is only just giving it a shot.

Only about 20 retailers are expected to receive their licenses this week, and many growers are still awaiting their own licenses. The result: a potential shortage, which will lead to hiked prices, long lines, or limits on the size of purchases.

There are still thousands of growers and retailers awaiting a license, and according to Reuters only a small portion of the growers’ marijuana has gone through necessary testing, with many harvests unlikely to be ready in time for this week’s sales.

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