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Marijuana supply not keeping up with demand

Marijuana supply not keeping up with demand

SPOKANE, Wash. - Recreational marijuana continues to fly off the shelf. Spokane Green Leaf, the first retail store to open in Spokane, selling nearly eight pounds the first day it opened, but other stores say they don't have enough product to open.

So when do producers think the supply will catch up with the demand?

Three stores are licensed to sell marijuana in Spokane but two of them, Satori and Green Star, said they wouldn't open until they had enough product. KXLY spoke with marijuana producer Wes Tuttle, owner of Yield Farms, who said it will take at least one year before product is in ready supply.

Tuttle is passionate about his marijuana plants.

"I love it," said Tuttle.

Tuttle harvested once since being approved to grow recreational marijuana by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

"Roughly a pound and three quarters of a pound. That was gone in one day," said Tuttle.

Tuttle sold that crop to Spokane Green Leaf. Now his second yield of Golden Nugget and New York City Diesel is waiting in the dark for harvest.

"Smells really good, it tastes really good, it's got a really good buzz," said Tuttle.

Tuttle expects this next batch to go as fast as the first and across the state retailers are scrambling to get their hands on product. Tuttle says he's already had to turn down a couple dozen stores asking for product.

"I would say at least a year, at least a year," said Tuttle.

That's how long he thinks it will take supply to meet demand and with only 79 licensed producers Tuttle says growers would have had to produce for half a year to keep pot on the shelves when stores opened.

"As a producer I couldn't have paid for six months rent without somewhat of an income," said Tuttle.

Tuttle also hopes to see retail prices level out when more producers get up and running.

"I locked in at $7 a gram and a year from now I'd still like to get that $7 a gram. I think that's really realistic for a farmer," said Tuttle.

Right now Green Leaf is selling 2 gram bags of marijuana for $50 and 4 gram bags for $100.

Until Tuttle is ready to expand he'll continue to grow as much as possible and try out new strains.

"Super Silver Haze, Bubble Gum, Afghani, Permafrost, Sleazack," said Tuttle.

Tuttle also said he expects there to be a slight shortage during the winter as producers can't grow extra plants outside, but supply ultimately contingent on how fast producers can get there operations up and running.