Wash. recreational pot stores banding against growers

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 1, 2014, packets of a variety of recreational marijuana named "Space Needle" are shown during packaging operations at Sea of Green Farms in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
In this photo taken Tuesday, July 1, 2014, packets of a variety of recreational marijuana named "Space Needle" are shown during packaging operations at Sea of Green Farms in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Some recreational marijuana store owners in Washington are banding together to stop growers’ price-gouging.

“It’s really about getting the product as cheap as possible, so we can get it out the door as cheap as possible,” said Main St. Marijuana’s Ramsey Hamide.

Ramsey Hamide, the proprietor of Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, July 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Ramsey Hamide, the proprietor of Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, July 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Recreational marijuana was being sold for $30 a gram on Friday at Main St. Marijuana, where the product was sold for $5 less on opening day in July.

The store’s owners blame the price shift on growers and processors, who they say are taking advantage of low supply and high demand.

“The growers that got us initially, they’re the ones that we’re not gonna plan on dealing with,” said Hamide.

Now, Hamide and five other stores are teaming up to from a retail association that will give them some clout at the bargaining table with growers.

“They have six of the best in Washington that are guaranteeing them contracts at set prices…and set amounts of product,” said Hamide.

The owners, Hamide said, are talking and sharing notes that include how to get product as cheap as possible and which growers and producers are good and which are not.

“We’re gonna have a lot of loyalty in our association to the growers that are treating us good now…and then the ones that are essentially sticking us for the higher prices will be the last to have shelf space,” said Hamide.

The group met just this week, and Hamide said they’re already seeing results.

“Tentatively, we have an agreement in place with a processor where we’re gonna get 60% of his anticipated 1,000 pound harvest, so that would be 600 pounds for our six stores – 100 pounds each store,” said Hamide.

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