WA state marijuana producers ask legislature to OK more retail s - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WA state marijuana producers ask legislature to OK more retail stores

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Farmer J's growhouse in Spokane Valley Farmer J's growhouse in Spokane Valley
Treehouse Club manager Steve Burks Treehouse Club manager Steve Burks
Jared Herling, owner at Farmer J's Jared Herling, owner at Farmer J's
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Hundreds of marijuana growers are having a hard time selling their product because of the surplus in Washington state.

One of the biggest problems, they say: not enough stores are open.

According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board, as of February 17, there are 384 licensed growers in the state, but only 119 licensed stores.

That means there's a lot of competition between growers to get their marijuana on store shelves.

"Pretty much everybody that had a retail license that was opening would call us up and say 'What do you have?' I'll take it all,' because there was no supply. Well now the opposite's true," said Jared Herling, owner at Farmer J's, a producer-processor in Spokane Valley.

Herling says the competition is driving prices down. Farmer J's used to get up to $12 per gram wholesale. Now, they're only getting $3-5 per gram.

"The reality is right now the price couldn't be any lower," said Herling.

With a facility that grows up to 400 plants in each of its eleven rooms, there's a lot of marijuana to spare.

"But you have another 100 growers just like me and if the average retailer sells 25, 30 pounds a month, just my facility alone could sustain four retailers," said Herling.

Farmer J's is one of ten producers at TreeHouse Club in Spokane Valley.

"We probably have three to four producers in here every day dropping off samples," said Manager Steve Burks.

Most are turned away. The store has not had room for a new producer in weeks

"Being that there's so much available, I've got to find the best stuff that I can at an affordable price so that way in turn I can offer an affordable price to the customers," said Burks.

Now, hundreds of growers like Herling are demanding the Liquor Control Board open more stores.

"The legislature needs to act. This isn't something they can kind of talk about it for a year and maybe do something next year. A lot of people's jobs and livelihoods are at stake here," said Herling.

Representatives from the Liquor Control Board say they're hoping to get 100 more stores open in the next few months.

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