Pot shop owner says price gouging a problem - KPTV - FOX 12

Pot shop owner says price gouging a problem

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

There are new growing pains for Washington's marijuana industry.

The shop owner at Main Street Marijuana said growers are demanding high prices for low quality pot.

Because it's in short supply, he said he had to decide whether to pay for expensive, low-quality pot, or run out and shut down for a few days.

"We don't have much choice," said Main Street Marijuana shop owner Ramsey Hamide. "Pretty much any product is good product at this point."

But, after talking about it with employees, he said they came to a unanimous decision.

"I'm not going to continue to pay high prices and support a market that's not geared toward the consumer," he said.

He's shutting down, at least for a few days, until he can restock with a premium product. He said it's a stand against what he calls price gouging, and because he doesn't want to pass the cost down to buyers.

"You can do the math on what it's going to take for us to break even and it's about $10,000 a pound, which I just don't feel is fair to the consumer," Hamide said.

That's the price for pot that his staff experts, called budtenders, said isn't worth it.

"A little bit leafy, wasn't really trimmed properly," budtender Kyle Stetler said. "Yeah, a little shaky."

Hamide said he thinks that will change in weeks or months to come when the industry grows up. But, for now, it's a waiting game.

"It's a tremendous amount of product that's in the pipeline," he said. "Right now, our display cases aren't reflective of what's going to be coming down."

Not all shop owners said they're having the same problem.

The owner of Freedom Market in Kelso said she still has plenty to sell.

She said recreational pot is still at a lower quality than Washington's medical marijuana, but she thinks that will improve as the industry ages.

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