Regulation of marijuana sales in Washington State – 2

This is the second in a series of posts providing background on regulation of recreational marijuana sales.

An article in The Telegraph provides more info – Dopeless in Seattle:  legalised cannabis prompts pot shortage.

Focus of the article is on small number of shops opened on the first day of legal sales and the limited supply. That is a transition issue that will quickly resolve itself. This post will look at some comments in the article on the regulatory requirements.

The article describes the rules as

…a labyrinthine licensing system…

Continue reading “Regulation of marijuana sales in Washington State – 2”

Regulation of marijuana sales in Washington State – 1

I’ve been following the state-legal, federal-illegal sales of marijuana in Washington and Colorado. I’m looking at legalization in those two states as a natural experiment in the heavy hand of regulation.

So you know my perspective and can filter my comments accordingly, my hypothesis is the heavy regulation imposed in each state will severely restrain, if not cripple, the new industry of legally selling banned pot. The legal infrastructure for sales is developing as regulators outline what is required.

Update:  Full disclosure is a good thing. That should even apply to the opinions of journalists writing articles. That is the reason I just described my perspective. You know where I’m coming from so you can filter my comments and coverage accordingly. I sincerely recommend you do the same thing with every news article and opinion piece you ever read.

You can see my posts in the regulation experiment tag. My very first post on Washington was here.

I’ll look at three articles in this series.  The first, from The Seattle Times on 7/5/14: State’s retail pot gets rolling Tuesday, provides a summary of regulation in Washington State and some indicators of prices.

A few tidbits on regulation:

Continue reading “Regulation of marijuana sales in Washington State – 1”

Tax revenue projections and first month of sales tax report from Colorado for state-legal-federally-illegal marijuana sales

As an experiment in the heavy hand of tax and regulation, I’ll be watching the results of Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana. My hypothesis is the heavy sales tax burden and regulatory requirements will cause unintended consequences.

January tax revenue

First month of tax revenues in Colorado were announced this week. In January, the state collected $2.1 million in taxes and fees from recreational marijuana sales and an additional $1.4 million from so-called “medical” sales, for total of about $3.5M for the month.

Continue reading “Tax revenue projections and first month of sales tax report from Colorado for state-legal-federally-illegal marijuana sales”

How to destroy a newly legalized illegal industry: Tax it to death

How could you shut down the newly legal recreational marijuana market in states that have legalized the federally illegal drug?

Well, you could pour on the taxes and regulations so heavy the legal stuff is twice or three times the price of illegal stuff.

First, a disclaimer. I don’t have experiential knowledge of the pot market, legal or illegal. My knowledge comes from the computer screen.

Why talk about this?

Three reasons. First, it helps me learn about change taking place around us in new worlds I’ll never personally explore. Second, this specific issue will allow us to see in real-time the damage caused by taxes and government regulation by watching what happens to a new ‘industry’. Third, I expect the state lawmakers and regulators are going to get an unpleasant lesson in unintended consequences. This post will be a marker for testing the idea that regulators can damage a new industry.

Having said that, check out an article in Daily Beast by Nick Gillespie:  Pot’s Black Market Backlash – How prohibitionists and nanny staters are trying to keep marijuana illegal – or at least inconvenient.

Continue reading “How to destroy a newly legalized illegal industry: Tax it to death”

Regulation for state-legal sales of federally-illegal product

I really don’t know what to make of the Washington state regulatory rules for selling pot, which is illegal under federal law. I hesitate to mention it on this blog, but it is a useful exercise in stretching my understanding of the world around me.

William Barrett describes the new regs in his post, New pot rules for Seattle are a riot-for now, at New to Seattle.

Here’s just a few of the rules: Continue reading “Regulation for state-legal sales of federally-illegal product”