Product May Be Few and Far Between At Soon to Open Retail Mariju - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Product May Be Few and Far Between At Soon to Open Retail Marijuana Stores

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YAKIMA, WA. -- Retail marijuana stores across Washington are set to open in just a few days but there are reports that there may not be enough product to go around when stores open their doors.

Analytical 360 is only the second certified marijuana testing lab in the state and they're now up and running. The problem is, they've only received 38 samples for quality assurance testing.

Scientists at the lab are looking at each sample for a variety of things, including mold and potency level. This will allow all stores to properly label their product so consumers know exactly what they're buying. When marijuana became legal in Colorado earlier this year, they didn't have this quality assurance testing. It's something that could make things much easier here in Washington. 

"Right from the get-go, everybody knows what they are getting," Randy Oliver of Analytical 360 said. "And everybody knows that it is safe for human consumption. That it doesn't have food born pathogens, that it doesn't have a mold problem. And in Colorado, they didn't mandate that."

When marijuana stores open up, there may not be any edibles either. So far the lab hasn't received any samples for edible products. The lab says running at full speed they can test up to 100 samples a day. So there is still a chance that samples could start pouring in.



NBC RIGHT NOW-- Customers can expect high prices, shortages in product and a lack of stores when legal marijuana sales start in Washington State next week.

The state expects to issue up to 20 retail licenses on July 7th, and stores can open the next day if they are ready, but it is unclear how many that will be. 

Randy Simmons is Washington’s Legal Pot Project Manager and he said it is going to be a bumpy road for the industry.

The state has been overwhelmed with thousands of applications from people who want to grow, process or sell marijuana.  Only 79 of the more than 2600 people who applied for marijuana growing licenses last fall have been approved, and many of them are not ready to harvest.

Staff with the state's Liquor Control Board has been warning of shortages when the first stores open.

Analytical 360 in Yakima is the only lab that is certified to test the heavily taxed marijuana that will go up for sale next week.

Staff there said they are only seeing a maximum harvest so far of 190 pounds, and expect 20 to 30-percent of the samples to fail because of high mold counts. Marijuana associated with those samples cannot be sold as dried buds, but can be used to make cannabis oil.

So far there will not be any pot brownies, either. The state has not yet licensed any edible makers.

In addition to shortages, customers will face taxes that are projected to make retail prices about 60-percent higher than they would otherwise be.