Local Dealer Says New Marijuana Law is Helping Black Market - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Dealer Says New Marijuana Law is Helping Black Market

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Business is booming for some local marijuana dealers. NBC Right Now spoke to one man who says now that it's legal to have and smoke pot, his illicit business has actually gone way up.

"It has increased the amount of people who contact me who I believe were what we might call "closet smokers," "John" said.

He says he's probably seen a 200% increase in the number people contacting him to buy marijuana.

"It went from probably just a couple of people a day contacting me to 15-20 that I can't even have time to meet up with," "John" said.

But come November, the Washington State Liquor Control Board plans to hand out retail licenses, and legal pot stores could pop up around the state soon after that.

"I think the belief being if you make it appealing then you can minimize the black market," said Mikhail Carpenter with the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

But that's not how "John" sees this one playing out.

"I think if anything it might increase business," "John" said.

That's because he says dealers like him will always be able to sell pot for less than the government.

In fact, right now the state Office of Financial Management estimates a selling price of $12 per gram for marijuana in state stores, while "John" says he can sell the same weed for $10.

"I have to stay competitive no matter what. So even if the government was selling it dirt cheap, I have to sell it cheaper or I'm not going to make any money," "John" said.

Now, while "John" says this new law has increased his business, he also says it's increased his competition. He says more and more people are starting to sell marijuana on the streets to make up for the high demand.