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(Slate)   Turns out that selling marijuana in Colorado isn't quite the profitable business everyone assumed it would be   (slate.com) divider line 95
    More: Obvious, Colorado, traders  
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5147 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 Jan 2014 at 11:52 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



95 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-17 10:53:55 AM  
Well the risk is lower so it would stand to reason the rewards would lessen as well.


Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!
 
2014-01-17 10:55:07 AM  
Also: TFA: the world's first legal pot shops opened for business.


haha wut?!
 
2014-01-17 10:56:47 AM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!


Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.
 
2014-01-17 11:03:51 AM  
So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.

Well done, Slate.

What does the American Family Association think? And what about the author's grandmother?
 
2014-01-17 11:04:33 AM  

factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.


It's kind of like the difference between "innocent" and "found not guilty."
 
2014-01-17 11:10:15 AM  
I hope it succeeds, despite the additional challenges of running it as a legitimate business.
 
2014-01-17 11:22:33 AM  

sigdiamond2000: So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.

Well done, Slate.


Not only that, but it's been legal for a little over two weeks. Two weeks! I think that maybe, just maybe, we can wait a little bit while this fledgling industry figures out product, marketing, distribution and management before we make any sweeping predictions. Here, I'll make my predictions for the first week of 2015, when the "Marijuana's been legal for a year now--what has changed?" articles crop up:

- Most companies made enough to stay in business, but haven't been reactive enough to stay highly profitable as the industry changes like legislative adjustments have occurred. Several companies have gone bust. A few, however, have adjusted faster than most, either with better product, better distribution, better marketing, and/or better management.

- There will have been a few high-profile cases of marijuana ending up in the hands of people that shouldn't have it. Every time a driver is pulled over and busted for DUI-weed, some people will blame the availability of it because of the emerging pot shop industry. Others will then point out that the number of these cases will be statistically level with the traditional incidence of people busted while driving under the influence of weed. Any unusual trend in Colorado that can possibly be tied to marijuana will lead to headlines like: "Unemployment Climbs 1.5% in Northern Colorado. Is Legal Marijuana Suppressing Job Seeker's Motivation?" which will contain exactly one quote from some crackpot who points out that long-term marijuana use has a correlation with decreased motivation.

- 4/20 will be a huge event in 2014, nearly double the size of previous years. Funyuns sales skyrocket, Frito-Lay files impressive first-quarter earnings 5% above analyst expectations.

- Every single news story from Colorado about some idiot being an idiot will either include information about, or speculate on, whether the person had smoked pot prior to whatever he's being arrested for, or was found to be in possession of pot when arrested.

- Nothing will really be that different. People that always smoked pot will continue to do so, people that never smoked pot probably won't bother, and about 1% of people that were on the fence about whether or not to try it will be swayed by its legality.
 
2014-01-17 11:22:57 AM  

Diogenes: factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.

It's kind of like the difference between "innocent" and "found not guilty."


Or "the ruling on the field stands" vs. "the ruling on the field is confirmed."
 
2014-01-17 11:46:00 AM  

factoryconnection: Diogenes: factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.

It's kind of like the difference between "innocent" and "found not guilty."

Or "the ruling on the field stands" vs. "the ruling on the field is confirmed."


Also CO isn't 100% legal. There is that whole federal thing and all.

Since we are splitting hairs, lets split all the hairs.


Frankly I'm for legalizing weed. Still won't matter to me personally since I'm under DOT regulations.
 
2014-01-17 11:59:42 AM  
From what I understand all of Colorado instantly turned into mad max territory on Jan 1. Lord humongous is governor now. So...yeah. Must be difficult to to make money in the wasteland like that.
 
2014-01-17 12:01:28 PM  
That's odd... My boss at this time last year went and saw his family for Xmas. When he got back, he reported that his sister and her husband were now pot growers as part of a co-op. He had been an architect that usually only worked on mansions, and she had been some kind of high end corporate lawyer. Both had quit their jobs and were make more money as legal pot growers than their previously lucrative professions, I wouldn't expect the sellers to be much more regulated and stifled than the growers...
 
2014-01-17 12:02:26 PM  

SmackLT: but it's been legal for a little over two weeks. Two weeks!


This.

How many PC's did IBM sell in the first 2 weeks?
How many are sold today?
What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
 
2014-01-17 12:08:20 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also CO isn't 100% legal. There is that whole federal thing and all.


Obviously.  I just wanted to make the Pulp Fiction reference.
 
2014-01-17 12:12:01 PM  
Can we wait about 6 months without these stories?  It's only been legal for 17 days!
 
2014-01-17 12:13:16 PM  
Something about this makes me think Sarah Palin has to be president now.
 
2014-01-17 12:15:10 PM  
So just like any other new business?
 
2014-01-17 12:15:27 PM  
says Brandon, the 29-year-old-proprietor of a midsize Denver operation, which has been in business since 2009. (We're not revealing his real name or that of his dispensary; although he's in compliance with state law, he didn't want his competition knowing the ins and outs of his business.) In truth, business is going well for him. Located in a stylish downtown building filled with loft-like workspace

No way they'll be able to identify him from that little bit of info.
 
2014-01-17 12:16:33 PM  

slayer199: Can we wait about 6 months without these stories?  It's only been legal for 17 days!


The drug war narrative demands that all drugs must always be seen in the worst possible light. Legal cannabis has to be proven not to work. If Colorado pulls this off, existence of life in this entire galaxy will come to an end! Tyrannids will consume us all, chaos will resign and...and...REALLY BAD STUFF will happen!
 
2014-01-17 12:17:42 PM  
Even if the net profit margin is only 5%, it's still better than running the risk of a drug conviction.  Period.  No comparison.
 
2014-01-17 12:19:42 PM  
So a start-up business that has to invest a bunch of cash up-front to build up infrastructure and inventory, meet licensing and regulatory requirements, and experiment a bit to find a stable and reliable business/production model is going to have high initial costs and may not be insanely profitable from day 1? And clandestine, illegal operations who provide the same product but do not have to deal with any of the regulatory hassle or overhead costs (but run the risk of being arrested and prosecuted) have higher profit margins? Shocking revelations, Slate! I'm clearly better off trying to illegally grow a bunch of pot in my basement and then sell it at the local elementary school. Thanks for the great business advice!
 
2014-01-17 12:20:26 PM  
Well, if CO is smart, they can always adjust the tax rates if recreational cannabis is not selling well, or if the black market won't go away.

Legalize and "tax the hell out of it," but you have to be reasonable. It seems like CO didn't think this all the way through. I can't fault them tho; it's difficult to be the first to grapple with this.

A much freer market would help solve this problem, even with high taxes. Also, edibles might be a good solution for the business owners, but I don't know how dickish CO is about those. WA seems to be on the stupid side about edibles right now, wanting to regulate them by weight.
 
2014-01-17 12:26:09 PM  
I wasn't stupid enough to assume that.
 
2014-01-17 12:29:30 PM  

Weaver95: If Colorado pulls this off, existence of life in this entire galaxy will come to an end!


Future mayor of Denver?

images18.fotki.com
 
2014-01-17 12:32:16 PM  

sigdiamond2000: So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.

Well done, Slate.

What does the American Family Association think? And what about the author's grandmother?


They didn't say it wouldn't be profitable, they said it likely won't be as profitable as people assumed. And what evidence are you using to say that the guy is "a really terrible grower and businessman"? Do you have a better example of one?
 
2014-01-17 12:33:17 PM  

SmackLT: sigdiamond2000: So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.

Well done, Slate.

Not only that, but it's been legal for a little over two weeks. Two weeks! I think that maybe, just maybe, we can wait a little bit while this fledgling industry figures out product, marketing, distribution and management before we make any sweeping predictions. Here, I'll make my predictions for the first week of 2015, when the "Marijuana's been legal for a year now--what has changed?" articles crop up:

- Most companies made enough to stay in business, but haven't been reactive enough to stay highly profitable as the industry changes like legislative adjustments have occurred. Several companies have gone bust. A few, however, have adjusted faster than most, either with better product, better distribution, better marketing, and/or better management.

- There will have been a few high-profile cases of marijuana ending up in the hands of people that shouldn't have it. Every time a driver is pulled over and busted for DUI-weed, some people will blame the availability of it because of the emerging pot shop industry. Others will then point out that the number of these cases will be statistically level with the traditional incidence of people busted while driving under the influence of weed. Any unusual trend in Colorado that can possibly be tied to marijuana will lead to headlines like: "Unemployment Climbs 1.5% in Northern Colorado. Is Legal Marijuana Suppressing Job Seeker's Motivation?" which will contain exactly one quote from some crackpot who points out that long-term marijuana use has a correlation with decreased motivation.

- 4/20 will be a huge event in 2014, nearly double the size of previous years. Funyuns sales skyrocket, Frito-Lay files impressive first-quarter earnings 5% above analyst expectations.

- Every single news story from Colorado about some idiot being an idiot will either include information about, or speculate on, whether the person had smoked pot prior to whatever he's being arrested for, or was found to be in possession of pot when arrested.

- Nothing will really be that different. People that always smoked pot will continue to do so, people that never smoked pot probably won't bother, and about 1% of people that were on the fence about whether or not to try it will be swayed by its legality.


Applications for enrolllment at Colorado universities up dramatically.

And I would be shocked if there wasn't some surge of heavy handed federal busts, because the DEA needs to protect a major funding steam.
 
2014-01-17 12:33:59 PM  
Because all businesses are profitable in the first two weeks of operation.
 
2014-01-17 12:37:19 PM  

Omnivorous: Because all businesses are profitable in the first two weeks of operation.


Selling weed on the street = yes, legit businesses = no. The article is comparing illegal dealing to the new system. I was kind of hoping they would slip the cost of Obamacare in there just for the LULZ.
 
2014-01-17 12:37:43 PM  
I can't wait for the whole issue to stabilize and let Philip Morris mass-grow acceptable pot for the masses, and the small guy artisan-grow weird shiat for the connoisseur.  It eventually worked with beer.
 
2014-01-17 12:39:41 PM  
What a stupid article
 
2014-01-17 12:41:11 PM  
jjorsett:

They didn't say it wouldn't be profitable, they said it likely won't be as profitable as people assumed.

Actually, they just cracked open the books.  I'm not sure who these people that assumed are, but they're not mentioned in the article.
 
2014-01-17 12:41:26 PM  
It's a relatively easy to grow plant that can be readily cultivated in most of the United States, it should be almost impossible to make a lot of money selling the stuff.
 
2014-01-17 12:43:53 PM  

Target Builder: It's a relatively easy to grow plant that can be readily cultivated in most of the United States, it should be almost impossible to make a lot of money selling the stuff.


Making "beer" is trivial
Making beer that doesn't take like ass requires actual skill
 
2014-01-17 12:49:21 PM  
FTFA:

"He's had to destroy an entire poorly produced crop yield that had been devastated by mold, mildew, and pests."

Can he apply for agricultural subsidies or crop insurance like farmers?
 
2014-01-17 12:55:58 PM  
I liked how the illegal marijuana market was one guy called CT.
 
2014-01-17 01:04:02 PM  
A 29-year-old dude is struggling to maximize profits at his independent small business!  Shut it all down!
 
2014-01-17 01:04:08 PM  

fickenchucker: I can't wait for the whole issue to stabilize and let Philip Morris mass-grow acceptable pot for the masses, and the small guy artisan-grow weird shiat for the connoisseur.  It eventually worked with beer.


I personally am waiting for the day where I can treat it like I do beer. I can go out of my way to get some really nice stuff but if I'm lazy I can pick something up at 7-11.
 
2014-01-17 01:07:18 PM  

cgraves67: FTFA:

"He's had to destroy an entire poorly produced crop yield that had been devastated by mold, mildew, and pests."

Can he apply for agricultural subsidies or crop insurance like farmers?


Maybe state ones but definitely not federal.
 
2014-01-17 01:07:21 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!


Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?
 
2014-01-17 01:18:07 PM  
Well like any business that is new you will have winners and losers and after a while the market will find a balance and people will get used to it. The people with an nose for business will last and the people with no sense will be flushed out.
 
2014-01-17 01:18:15 PM  

factoryconnection: Obviously. I just wanted to make the Pulp Fiction reference.


sorry missed it.


Still missing it. It's been a couple of decades since I saw it.
 
2014-01-17 01:26:03 PM  

midigod: Yeah, how does it work? Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot. Is that what the free market was supposed to do?


Are you blaming the high taxation of legal recreational weed on the free market?
 
2014-01-17 01:31:32 PM  

jjorsett: And what evidence are you using to say that the guy is "a really terrible grower and businessman"?


FTFA:

He's had to destroy an entire poorly produced crop yield that had been devastated by mold, mildew, and pests.
 
2014-01-17 01:32:11 PM  
30% tax, store overhead, paid employees, insurance...these things cost money. I have no doubt the businesses will turn profitable unless the legal system does a 180 shift.
 
2014-01-17 01:37:28 PM  

midigod: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?


First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.

Also, I'd expect that medicinal "strains" (or even if they divide every oz into "medicinal" and "recreational") would be cheaper. If you're using it as medicine it damn well SHOULD be cheaper, and let the Rocky Mountain Surfing Club subsidize a bit of Grandma's Glaucoma-Fighting Club.

And I would be just pleased as punch if I could walk down to the corner store (say it with me: "bo-DAY-gas". Very nice) and pay 150% of what I pay now - convenience, legality (I don't have to risk spending hours in jail and upwards of 2 grand if I get caught buying Thai Stick from 7-11), known quality/quantity of product, and the potential to sue if I get ripped off make it a better deal.
 
2014-01-17 01:43:25 PM  
What happened to all the stories about legal stores running out of supply and jacking prices way up to compensate?  Sounds like if there's a problem, its not due to lack of demand.
 
2014-01-17 01:48:17 PM  

factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.


they're not 100% legal in colorado either.
 
2014-01-17 01:53:48 PM  

thurstonxhowell: midigod: Yeah, how does it work? Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot. Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

Are you blaming the high taxation of legal recreational weed on the free market?


And, the veracity of his numbers aside, he also seems to be claiming that illegal sales are not the free market.
 
2014-01-17 02:03:11 PM  
Until such point that they bother to list estimated profit margins, this is meaningless.  "Not as profitable" doesn't necessarily mean much here.  What margins are they comparing?  "Oh, businesses aren't making 200% after expenses" type tripe, or "After expenses, businesses are pulling in 2%."  If they are maintaining margins in the low teens on physical products, welcome to the entire rest of the world since the economy tanked.
 
2014-01-17 02:15:23 PM  

sigdiamond2000: jjorsett: And what evidence are you using to say that the guy is "a really terrible grower and businessman"?

FTFA:

He's had to destroy an entire poorly produced crop yield that had been devastated by mold, mildew, and pests.


And you know for a fact that that never happens to anyone else in the biz? You can't take an isolated fact and extrapolate that into an indictment of someone's business practices unless you have evidence that other, more competent business owners don't have the same difficulties. I hear of crop failures and pests experienced by farmers who have been farming for decades. If even experienced and successful farmers can hit those kinds of obstacles, I see no reason that a grower of another agricultural product like marijuana wouldn't experience the same from time to time.
 
2014-01-17 02:15:34 PM  

Dr Dreidel: midigod: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.

Also, I'd expect that medicinal "strains" (or even if they divide every oz into "medicinal" and "recreational") would be cheaper. If you're using it as medicine it damn well SHOULD be cheaper, and let the Rocky Mountain Surfing Club subsidize a bit of Grandma's Glaucoma-Fighting Club.

And I would be just pleased as punch if I could walk down to the corner store (say it with me: "bo-DAY-gas". Very nice) and pay 150% of what I pay now - convenience, legality (I don't have to risk spending hours in jail and upwards of 2 grand if I get caught buying Thai Stick from 7-11), known quality/quantity of product, and the potential to sue if I get ripped off make it a better deal.


I always click profiles when I see a post like this, and usually find someone from East of the Rockies.

On the West Coast, 150% won't work, as there isn't any real risk from buying an ounce. The quality and convenience can't be beat by legal sources, but maybe they could match it.

If it was roughly the same price as my guy, I'd go retail. But the quality would have to be equal at least. I won't go to 7-11 for low grade when I can get highs delivered.
 
2014-01-17 02:21:43 PM  

Rapmaster2000: jjorsett:

They didn't say it wouldn't be profitable, they said it likely won't be as profitable as people assumed.

Actually, they just cracked open the books.  I'm not sure who these people that assumed are, but they're not mentioned in the article.


I was inferring their existence from the phrasing, " as lucrative as it appears ". Of course, given the reportorial trick of, "Some people say that ..." when they mean, "I think ...," it could be that the only people assuming in the article are the author of the piece.
 
2014-01-17 02:23:09 PM  

jjorsett: You can't take an isolated fact and extrapolate that into an indictment of someone's business practices unless you have evidence that other, more competent business owners don't have the same difficulties.


That's exactly what the author of this piece is doing. If I'm wrong, he's wrong.

Q.E.D.
 
2014-01-17 02:31:26 PM  

stewbert: The quality and convenience can't be beat by legal sources, but maybe they could match it.


Well bully for you. The Right Coast, however, is not in that situation.

So yes, we're more willing to pay higher prices if it means satisfying the demand. That's how markets work.
 
2014-01-17 02:38:44 PM  

sigdiamond2000: So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.


DId we read the same article or are you merely stoned?  The article did not say they would not be profitable and in fact FTFA "Can retail marijuana be a solid business? Clearly, yes".  it does go further and asks "Can it be highly profitable? Not sure."

So yes you can make money on it.  State and local governments will benefit from not spending tax dollars to lock up stoners and gain revenue from the business.  Offset somewhat by the cost of having to regulate this new business.

Is it going to be the financial windfall the stoner crowd has argued for years?  No more than lottery tickets have been. It is not going to plug  any big budget holes or solve unemployment.

On the business owners side I notice one of the big complaints and expenses faced by the legal pot sellers are the Fark Progressives most favorite things in the world-government regulations and taxes.  So as a small business owner selling a "progressive product" how are they going to vote when it comes to the bottom line.

It is easy to vote for more government regulations on business if you don't run a business and for more taxes that you don't have to pay but when yuo get into the grownup world things change.
 
2014-01-17 02:48:18 PM  
It's way too early to determine any long-term profitability. For truth's, sake, slate, the first quarterly reports aren't even in..
 
2014-01-17 02:53:45 PM  
You mean a business that has to hold back reserves to meet a 35% Federal tax on gross revenues might not be so profitable in the first TWO WEEKS of operations?

THE HELL YOU SAY!
 
2014-01-17 02:59:02 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: So just like any other new business?


Well, unlike other new businesses, they have to pay federal income tax on the entire gross, because none of their operating expenses are "legitimate" business expenses by federal standards.  My understanding is that nothing can be written off as an expense--the rent you pay on the space where you conduct your illegal business?  That's not a legitimate expense.  The wages you pay the employes of your illegal business?  That's not a legitimate expense either.  And so on.  And don't even think of trying to report the purchase of your signature product as an expense--why give the federal government solid documentation that you bought five tons of a schedule 1 substance?
 
2014-01-17 03:05:58 PM  

stewbert: Dr Dreidel: midigod: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.

Also, I'd expect that medicinal "strains" (or even if they divide every oz into "medicinal" and "recreational") would be cheaper. If you're using it as medicine it damn well SHOULD be cheaper, and let the Rocky Mountain Surfing Club subsidize a bit of Grandma's Glaucoma-Fighting Club.

And I would be just pleased as punch if I could walk down to the corner store (say it with me: "bo-DAY-gas". Very nice) and pay 150% of what I pay now - convenience, legality (I don't have to risk spending hours in jail and upwards of 2 grand if I get caught buying Thai Stick from 7-11), known quality/quantity of product, and the potential to sue if I get ripped off make it a better deal.

I always click profiles when I see a post like this, and usually find someone from East of the Rockies.

On the West Coast, 150% won't work, as there isn't any real risk from buying an ounce. The quality and convenience can't be beat by legal sources, but maybe they could match it.

If it was roughly the same price as my guy, I'd go retail. But the quality would have to be equal at least. I won't go to 7-11 for low grade when I can get highs delivered.


Here's the simple fix for that once it goes legal
You and your dealer go to prison for a very long time for tax evasion and fraud if you wanna be a scum bag and not pay taxes on it.
 
2014-01-17 03:12:14 PM  
50 - 60$ for an 8th? So, right around average street price. I think I will just call my buddy who sales medical to me for 20$ for an 8th. And he delivers.
 
2014-01-17 03:29:52 PM  
This is one of the stupidest articles I've seen in Slate, it's even bad for post-Washington Post takeover Slate which is notably dumber and more right-wing than old Slate (which I used to read daily).

The "best" part was probably the discussion of the "benefits" of an illegal dealer. CT says: "A lot of people would rather go to their drug dealers' house and buy a bag and sit down and smoke a bowl with them than go to a store."  Really? Because that's EXACTLY the sort of thing I farking hated about dealers. I don't want to smoke my weed with you that I just bought from you, I want to get it and leave and smoke with my real friends. Not my "better smoke with the dealer so he keeps selling to me" asshole fake friends. Another gem: "There are a lot of things that go down at these dispensaries and grow facilities that nobody really knows about. My clients know where my product is coming from. They can ask me anything about it."  Really? He must be either a great liar or a very exceptional dealer, because every dealer I've had has had at most 2 strains on hand, and usually can't tell me anything about them. Best I ever had was a guy who told me where it was grown. Those dispensaries tend to have many strains on hand, and I've heard they can tell you all about them. And now for the final, finishing quote from CT: "Who wants to wait 30 minutes in line to score a bag?" Now he's just trolling. I've never had a dealer that was prompt and easy to get ahold of when I wanted. I would gladly wait 30 minutes in line to get a bag of exactly what I wanted, when I wanted rather than having to wait until the dealer is ready, wait for him to show up (late), and then have to smoke with him before he finally leaves.

Seriously, the guy is full of shiat. I would gladly pay 2x illegal prices for the convenience of good service, done quickly, without the crap. I'd gladly wait in line for it. He's either going to start delivering blowjobs with the weed or he's going to go out of business sooner than he realizes. Just my prediction.
 
2014-01-17 03:38:22 PM  

adamatari: The "best" part was probably the discussion of the "benefits" of an illegal dealer. CT says: "A lot of people would rather go to their drug dealers' house and buy a bag and sit down and smoke a bowl with them than go to a store."  Really? Because that's EXACTLY the sort of thing I farking hated about dealers. I don't want to smoke my weed with you that I just bought from you, I want to get it and leave and smoke with my real friends. Not my "better smoke with the dealer so he keeps selling to me" asshole fake friends.


unrealitymag.bcmediagroup.netdna-cdn.com
 
2014-01-17 03:40:54 PM  
$50-60 an eighth... that's standard street price here...  and with the new arrangement you won't get arrested, so that's subtracting about $2k [bust costs]...
yeah, I'll pay a couple dozen dollars extra.
what a bunch of spoiled stoners.  y'all are pissing in everyone else's pot, you know...
 
2014-01-17 03:55:03 PM  

ThrillaManilla: $50-60 an eighth... that's standard street price here...  and with the new arrangement you won't get arrested, so that's subtracting about $2k [bust costs]...
yeah, I'll pay a couple dozen dollars extra.
what a bunch of spoiled stoners.  y'all are pissing in everyone else's pot, you know...


That's why you should send them to prison and actually post a sign in the store w/ their faces on it says these morons added 1 cent each to your weed tax.  However they are now helping grow your weed for you while wearing orange jump suites as a consolation prize.
 
2014-01-17 03:58:16 PM  

Weaver95: slayer199: Can we wait about 6 months without these stories?  It's only been legal for 17 days!

The drug war narrative demands that all drugs must always be seen in the worst possible light. Legal cannabis has to be proven not to work. If Colorado pulls this off, existence of life in this entire galaxy will come to an end! Tyrannids will consume us all, chaos will resign and...and...REALLY BAD STUFF will happen!


Can I be same sex throne wed to the emporer before that starts?
 
2014-01-17 04:27:34 PM  
Meh, I'm pretty sure that one place just opened up for recreational today with $25 8ths. The prices are going to plummet as more of the stores open up and are able to get their recreational grows up and running. The ones open now were only allowed to transfer 15% of their medical stocks to recreational as well as being unable to open their recreational grow houses until 1/1/14 so of course there's a limited supply right now.
 
2014-01-17 04:46:31 PM  
Please please please don't fark this up Colorado.
 
2014-01-17 04:46:42 PM  

adamatari: This is one of the stupidest articles I've seen in Slate, it's even bad for post-Washington Post takeover Slate which is notably dumber and more right-wing than old Slate (which I used to read daily).

The "best" part was probably the discussion of the "benefits" of an illegal dealer. CT says: "A lot of people would rather go to their drug dealers' house and buy a bag and sit down and smoke a bowl with them than go to a store."  Really? Because that's EXACTLY the sort of thing I farking hated about dealers. I don't want to smoke my weed with you that I just bought from you, I want to get it and leave and smoke with my real friends. Not my "better smoke with the dealer so he keeps selling to me" asshole fake friends. Another gem: "There are a lot of things that go down at these dispensaries and grow facilities that nobody really knows about. My clients know where my product is coming from. They can ask me anything about it."  Really? He must be either a great liar or a very exceptional dealer, because every dealer I've had has had at most 2 strains on hand, and usually can't tell me anything about them. Best I ever had was a guy who told me where it was grown. Those dispensaries tend to have many strains on hand, and I've heard they can tell you all about them. And now for the final, finishing quote from CT: "Who wants to wait 30 minutes in line to score a bag?" Now he's just trolling. I've never had a dealer that was prompt and easy to get ahold of when I wanted. I would gladly wait 30 minutes in line to get a bag of exactly what I wanted, when I wanted rather than having to wait until the dealer is ready, wait for him to show up (late), and then have to smoke with him before he finally leaves.

Seriously, the guy is full of shiat. I would gladly pay 2x illegal prices for the convenience of good service, done quickly, without the crap. I'd gladly wait in line for it. He's either going to start delivering blowjobs with the weed or he's going to go out of business soo ...


meh.  most of my dealers eventually became good friends.  the kind that come to barbecues and get invited to regular social events regardless of any transaction.  they arent really from drastically different worlds so no biggie.  but im with you (both on slate being stupid and going to a store to buy).  i prefer the dealer experience even though im happy its taking a turn to legalization nation wide.  i know i'll lose a lot of positive things from that once it goes nationwide but i gain the "not getting arrested" benefit which is pretty goddam awesome.  i also get the "dont have to hide it all the time" benefit.  and i can probably more freely email ant text about it without too many worries.  im sure im already on any number NSA lists so buying from the store wont really impinge on my already impinged privacies.
 
2014-01-17 05:01:17 PM  
So this is how walmart gets into the weed business. Drive out all the smaller ones and sell crappy mexican ditch weed made in china.
 
2014-01-17 05:15:46 PM  

groppet: So this is how walmart gets into the weed business. Drive out all the smaller ones and sell crappy mexican ditch weed made in china.


The evil company you're thinking of is InBev
 
2014-01-17 05:15:49 PM  

ShadowKamui: stewbert: Dr Dreidel: midigod: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.

Also, I'd expect that medicinal "strains" (or even if they divide every oz into "medicinal" and "recreational") would be cheaper. If you're using it as medicine it damn well SHOULD be cheaper, and let the Rocky Mountain Surfing Club subsidize a bit of Grandma's Glaucoma-Fighting Club.

And I would be just pleased as punch if I could walk down to the corner store (say it with me: "bo-DAY-gas". Very nice) and pay 150% of what I pay now - convenience, legality (I don't have to risk spending hours in jail and upwards of 2 grand if I get caught buying Thai Stick from 7-11), known quality/quantity of product, and the potential to sue if I get ripped off make it a better deal.

I always click profiles when I see a post like this, and usually find someone from East of the Rockies.

On the West Coast, 150% won't work, as there isn't any real risk from buying an ounce. The quality and convenience can't be beat by legal sources, but maybe they could match it.

If it was roughly the same price as my guy, I'd go retail. But the quality would have to be equal at least. I won't go to 7-11 for low grade when I can get highs delivered.

Here's the simple fix for that once it goes legal
You and your dealer go to prison for a very long time for tax evasion and fraud if you wanna be a scum bag and not pay taxes on it.


That won't happen out here. We're willing to pay reasonable taxes. If they try to use taxes to control use, the black market will remain healthy.

The cops don't care about busting people for illegal weed. When it's legal, they will have a lot less shiats to give.
 
2014-01-17 05:19:03 PM  

mjohnson71: Please please please don't fark this up Colorado.


Honestly, with some of the opinions and attitudes I've heard since "legalization," I'm thinking it might be better to just leave it illegal but decriminalized.
 
2014-01-17 05:22:25 PM  
Basically recreational weed is about the same price as it is in Socal. When I lived there, most dispensaries charged about $45-60 an eighth. Here in Colorado, the medpot goes for about $25 an eighth while the recreational goes for about $45-70 from what I hear.


/Lives in a area that banned recreational weed so its either drive close to 3 hours or continue with the black market.
 
2014-01-17 05:24:21 PM  

stewbert: ShadowKamui: stewbert: Dr Dreidel: midigod: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also something about the free market and lowering prices. The free market?! HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

Yeah, how does it work?  Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot.  Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.

Also, I'd expect that medicinal "strains" (or even if they divide every oz into "medicinal" and "recreational") would be cheaper. If you're using it as medicine it damn well SHOULD be cheaper, and let the Rocky Mountain Surfing Club subsidize a bit of Grandma's Glaucoma-Fighting Club.

And I would be just pleased as punch if I could walk down to the corner store (say it with me: "bo-DAY-gas". Very nice) and pay 150% of what I pay now - convenience, legality (I don't have to risk spending hours in jail and upwards of 2 grand if I get caught buying Thai Stick from 7-11), known quality/quantity of product, and the potential to sue if I get ripped off make it a better deal.

I always click profiles when I see a post like this, and usually find someone from East of the Rockies.

On the West Coast, 150% won't work, as there isn't any real risk from buying an ounce. The quality and convenience can't be beat by legal sources, but maybe they could match it.

If it was roughly the same price as my guy, I'd go retail. But the quality would have to be equal at least. I won't go to 7-11 for low grade when I can get highs delivered.

Here's the simple fix for that once it goes legal
You and your dealer go to prison for a very long time for tax evasion and fraud if you wanna be a scum bag and not pay taxes on it.

That won't happen out here. We're willing to pay reasonable taxes. If they try to use taxes to control use, the black market will remain healthy.

The cops don't care about busting people for illegal weed. W ...


You aren't going to be dealing w/ lazy cops anymore.  Enjoy getting reamed by the tax enforcement and/or state tobacco & alcohol commission.  Might wanna start getting fitted for an orange jump suite because large fines and long jail times await you.  And its in the best interest for the pro-legalization folks to throw your sorry ass in prison ASAP for tax evasion before you ruin it for them, so good luck.
 
2014-01-17 05:29:10 PM  

flondrix: Unoriginal_Username: So just like any other new business?

Well, unlike other new businesses, they have to pay federal income tax on the entire gross, because none of their operating expenses are "legitimate" business expenses by federal standards.  My understanding is that nothing can be written off as an expense--the rent you pay on the space where you conduct your illegal business?  That's not a legitimate expense.  The wages you pay the employes of your illegal business?  That's not a legitimate expense either.  And so on.  And don't even think of trying to report the purchase of your signature product as an expense--why give the federal government solid documentation that you bought five tons of a schedule 1 substance?


Hopefully, as more states start to open their eyes to the revenue stream that is pot, the feds will realize it as well. I know it will take a while, but change doesn't happen over night.

I'm in GA, right now they are thinking of putting medical marijuana on the table for a vote, we'll see how far this place goes though.
 
2014-01-17 05:55:06 PM  

adamatari: The "best" part was probably the discussion of the "benefits" of an illegal dealer. CT says: "A lot of people would rather go to their drug dealers' house and buy a bag and sit down and smoke a bowl with them than go to a store."  Really? Because that's EXACTLY the sort of thing I farking hated about dealers. I don't want to smoke my weed with you that I just bought from you, I want to get it and leave and smoke with my real friends. Not my "better smoke with the dealer so he keeps selling to me" asshole fake friends


That's weird.  You need better friends.  Every dealer I've ever dealt with other than on the street always smoked me up.  FFS, he's got a quarter pound of weed on his coffee table and just sold me an ounce?   Whose bag is going to fill the bong?.    And oddly enough, anyone I ever bought weed from more than once was either already my friend or became my friend.

OTOH, it's great to have a store to go to that has regular hours so you don't feel like a pain in the ass to your friend always calling them up just to get weed.  Most of the people I've gotten weed from over the years didn't actually sell drugs for a living.

The stores will do fine.  So it's not as big of a cash cow as some thought?  Okay then.  The comparison to grocery stores was apt.  They sell a farking plant and maybe some brownies with the plant in it.  Do you really expect them to make a lot more than they are making?

They're already established businesses and they don't really need expensive retail pad sites.

I think it's still cheaper on the black market and it may be more profitable for the seller, but I think that was pretty much to be expected.
 
2014-01-17 06:02:07 PM  

SmackLT: - 4/20 will be a huge event in 2014, nearly double the size of previous years. Funyuns sales skyrocket, Frito-Lay files impressive first-quarter earnings 5% above analyst expectations.


To me more "stereotypical stoner behavior" is the last thing we need in the country to move legalization forward.
 
2014-01-17 06:16:53 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Hopefully, as more states start to open their eyes to the revenue stream that is pot, the feds will realize it as well. I know it will take a while, but change doesn't happen over night.


Oh, but the Feds are getting plenty of revenue from Colorado's marijuana businesses.  Much more than if they recognized the businesses as legitimate and had to allow them to write off their expenditures.  What would be the Feds' monetary motive for changing the status quo?
 
2014-01-17 06:17:05 PM  

Poison Appleseeds: SmackLT: - 4/20 will be a huge event in 2014, nearly double the size of previous years. Funyuns sales skyrocket, Frito-Lay files impressive first-quarter earnings 5% above analyst expectations.

To me more "stereotypical stoner behavior" is the last thing we need in the country to move legalization forward.


Well, that part of my post was a joke, but the reality is that people who smoke pot will continue to do so much in the way they always have. A percentage of the whole will be stereotypical stoners, who will act the same as they always have. Legalization won't change their behavior, but people that don't like legalization will point out people acting like stereotypical stoners as if  they were something created new who never touched a joint until legalization happened. They weren't, but that'll be playing in the argument, I guarantee it.
 
2014-01-17 06:34:46 PM  

ShadowKamui: You aren't going to be dealing w/ lazy cops anymore. Enjoy getting reamed by the tax enforcement and/or state tobacco & alcohol commission. Might wanna start getting fitted for an orange jump suite because large fines and long jail times await you. And its in the best interest for the pro-legalization folks to throw your sorry ass in prison ASAP for tax evasion before you ruin it for them, so good luck.


None of this happened with the homebrewing industry. None of this will happen with weed.

The Tax Man will not know that I buy my weed on the black market. Please explain how that will work. I'll use the same cash as I do now. The state ATF (whatever) will also have no idea.

Many wimps from the pro-legalization camp will demonize folks like me, we can see that already. They're so eager to legalize that they are making deals with the devil. They aren't even asking for lube.

Still, I'm hopeful that saner heads will prevail. Other states can learn from this, and craft their laws to be a bit less restrictive.

I'm perfectly happy to pay taxes for legal weed. But I'm not going to pay more than I do now.
 
2014-01-17 06:41:04 PM  

mizchief: What's going to happen as legalization continues is that the greed local and state governments will over tax and over regulate the legal business and everyone will just keep getting their weed the same way they always did or grow their own. Only teenagers and tourist will make use of the legal stores.


Growing your own == home brew
Most people aren't going to bother.

As for the current dealers and their idiot customers, tax cheats who will face prison time. The weed tax isn't any worse than tabbaco or booze. Few will risk it anymore, just like moonshiners
 
2014-01-17 07:02:41 PM  

ShadowKamui: mizchief: What's going to happen as legalization continues is that the greed local and state governments will over tax and over regulate the legal business and everyone will just keep getting their weed the same way they always did or grow their own. Only teenagers and tourist will make use of the legal stores.

Growing your own == home brew
Most people aren't going to bother.

As for the current dealers and their idiot customers, tax cheats who will face prison time. The weed tax isn't any worse than tabbaco or booze. Few will risk it anymore, just like moonshiners


This will only hold true if prices remain competitive. NYC and their insane cig taxes hold a lesson:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/The-Tobacco-Trail-Smuggl in g-Cigarettes-Out-of-Virginia-233392681.html
 
2014-01-17 07:20:18 PM  
Just wait, big tobacco will move in and cut everyone down in their way. Imagine all those acres in Kentucky Philip Morris holds full of bud instead of tobacco. Little Mom and Pop shops will only be able to compete at the artisan level. Just like beer.
 
2014-01-17 08:46:18 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Well bully for you. The Right Coast, however, is not in that situation.


Speak for yourself. It's essentially legal for all intents and purposes in NYC, you can get stuff that's at least as good as West Coast (actually, often better, since less ideal growing conditions means local stuff in the North East is grown in ludicrous grow labs), and dealers in NYC are faster, more professional, and less bullshiat than anything I've ever seen on the wrong side of the country. I liked getting pot delivered in the same manner as take-out: pro delivery guy working for someone I don't know and have never seen in my life and don't care about that's of sufficient quality that they aren't put out of business by all the competition.
 
2014-01-17 09:25:41 PM  

ShadowKamui: As for the current dealers and their idiot customers, tax cheats who will face prison time. The weed tax isn't any worse than tabbaco or booze. Few will risk it anymore, just like moonshiners


Excuse me?


Do you actually know what the tax is on weed in Colorado compared to booze or this thing called "tabbaco"?


Do things like facts or spelling ever occur to you?



Colorado: Taxes on alcohol are by volume, not by price. The beer tax is 8 cents per gallon, the wine is 28 cents per gallon and the liquor tax is $2.28 per gallon.


Tobacco? 84 cents a pack. The last time I bought cigs it was $6 or $7 a pack.

Nope neither of those taxes even comes close to the taxes on marijuana.

But hey, I was one of those people saying legalize, but tax the shiat out of it. We may have gone too far. I can get pot much cheaper if I don't go to one of these stores.

8 cents per a gallon of beer.....let's think about that. Did you know there are 128 ounces in a gallon? That's nearly 11 beers. A whole farking 8 cents for 11 beers? Yeah, even if you buy really cheap beer that's nowhere near the tax on marijuana.
 
2014-01-17 10:02:23 PM  

adamatari: CT says: "A lot of people would rather go to their drug dealers' house and buy a bag and sit down and smoke a bowl with them than go to a store." Really? Because that's EXACTLY the sort of thing I farking hated about dealers. I don't want to smoke my weed with you that I just bought from you, I want to get it and leave and smoke with my real friends. Not my "better smoke with the dealer so he keeps selling to me" asshole fake friends.


flavorwire.files.wordpress.com
"Can i get my portion to smoke alone later, without you?"
 
2014-01-17 11:03:47 PM  
Unlike other illegal businesses-prostitution, gambling, or even murder for hire-only drug dealers are singled out for this special tax treatment. (Whereas a hit man who gets busted and forced to pay taxes on his blood money can deduct the cost of his sniper rifle, travel expense to and from the crime scene, etc.)

Holeee shiat.
 
2014-01-17 11:10:41 PM  

gfid: ShadowKamui: As for the current dealers and their idiot customers, tax cheats who will face prison time. The weed tax isn't any worse than tabbaco or booze. Few will risk it anymore, just like moonshiners

Excuse me?
Do you actually know what the tax is on weed in Colorado compared to booze or this thing called "tabbaco"?
Do things like facts or spelling ever occur to you?

Colorado: Taxes on alcohol are by volume, not by price. The beer tax is 8 cents per gallon, the wine is 28 cents per gallon and the liquor tax is $2.28 per gallon.


Tobacco? 84 cents a pack. The last time I bought cigs it was $6 or $7 a pack.

Nope neither of those taxes even comes close to the taxes on marijuana.

But hey, I was one of those people saying legalize, but tax the shiat out of it. We may have gone too far. I can get pot much cheaper if I don't go to one of these stores.

8 cents per a gallon of beer.....let's think about that. Did you know there are 128 ounces in a gallon? That's nearly 11 beers. A whole farking 8 cents for 11 beers? Yeah, even if you buy really cheap beer that's nowhere near the tax on marijuana.


Youre blantently wrong on your numbers and completely ignoring sales and federal taxes. The % of tax on pot is almost the exact as pot
 
2014-01-17 11:15:36 PM  

sigdiamond2000: So they interviewed a pot shop owner who is a really terrible grower and businessman and a black market dealer who is threatened by the prospect of legal weed, and came to the conclusion that it won't be a profitable business in Colorado.


^ My thoughts exactly. What idiot interviews someone who sells alcohol legally after brewing it themselves in small batches and then compares their bottom line to someone who brews their own as well but has no taxes to pay or anything since it's all under the counter?
 
2014-01-18 01:12:11 AM  
Can't claim expenses still, right?
 
2014-01-18 02:01:59 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: Can't claim expenses still, right?


double irish it.
 
2014-01-18 09:13:32 AM  

factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.


Same in Colorado.  Any time they way, the DEA could roll up in there, arrest everyone and put them in federal prison for decades.
 
2014-01-18 11:17:32 AM  

Dr Dreidel: First off, [citation needed]. Not that I think you're intentionally misrepresenting anything, I just think 200% seems kinda *puts on sunglasses* high.


Well, it was in  TFA, for one.

Here's another.

Here's another.


BMFPitt: thurstonxhowell: midigod: Yeah, how does it work? Legal pot is currently twice as much at retail as medicinal or illicit pot. Is that what the free market was supposed to do?

Are you blaming the high taxation of legal recreational weed on the free market?

And, the veracity of his numbers aside, he also seems to be claiming that illegal sales are not the free market.


Perhaps I must have misworded it, because I'm in fact saying the opposite of what both of you got out of it.  The original comment a sarcastic comment designed to show how this is the free market at work and doing well.  I'm saying it's not a good representation of the free market.  The heavy taxation is one factor that guarantees that the market isn't free in this case, which destroys any argument that it's the free market at work.  I'm not blaming taxation on the free market, I'm blaming unreasonable taxation for the prevention of the free market.
 
2014-01-18 07:00:42 PM  
ShadowKamui: You aren't going to be dealing w/ lazy cops anymore.  Enjoy getting reamed by the tax enforcement and/or state tobacco & alcohol commission.  Might wanna start getting fitted for an orange jump suite because large fines and long jail times await you.  And its in the best interest for the pro-legalization folks to throw your sorry ass in prison ASAP for tax evasion before you ruin it for them, so good luck.

On top of that, those guys now have allies - all the legal, licensed dealers who have an incentive to put illegal street dealers out of business.
 
2014-01-18 09:26:45 PM  

farkeruk: ShadowKamui: You aren't going to be dealing w/ lazy cops anymore.  Enjoy getting reamed by the tax enforcement and/or state tobacco & alcohol commission.  Might wanna start getting fitted for an orange jump suite because large fines and long jail times await you.  And its in the best interest for the pro-legalization folks to throw your sorry ass in prison ASAP for tax evasion before you ruin it for them, so good luck.

On top of that, those guys now have allies - all the legal, licensed dealers who have an incentive to put illegal street dealers out of business.


Liberals Stoners meet Progressives. It's like a bad Hollywood remake   Lenin, where's my Trotsky?
 
2014-01-18 10:48:14 PM  

pute kisses like a man: factoryconnection: The Stealth Hippopotamus: haha wut?!

Well, in Amsterdam they're legal, but they ain't 100% legal.

they're not 100% legal in colorado either.


How do you mean?
 
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