Vancouver pot shop owner alleges price gouging
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- One by one, they came to Main Street Marijuana looking for pot.
At least a dozen people tried to get inside while we waited to interview general manager Ramsey Hamide.
We were even interrupted by a would-be customer while Hamide was letting us in.
Hamide says he hates turning away customers but refuses to charge the types of prices some growers are asking for.
"There are supply and demand issues that's correct, but what it is there are processors that have product ready to go on their shelves, and they're not willing to put it out there at less than these ridiculous prices," Hamide said.
Hamide says some growers and processors are trying to charge him $6,000 for one pound of product. For comparison he says that's about triple the normal price.
"Then we factor in the excise tax of 25 percent, the local taxes of 8.5 percent. Every extra dollar we are charged is like a snowball effect," Hamide said.
It's the same problem across town at New Vansterdam, Vancouver's only other retail pot shop.
Jerry Kush drove from Battle Ground hoping to get some marijuana for his wife who has COPD.
"I think it's outrageous the gouging. I knew that was going to happen. It's like when you have a disaster, bottled water, they charge you way too much for it," Kush said.
Kush is disappointed the shop is closed but hopes those growers reconsider their prices.
Hamide hopes his customers continue to show that kind of patience, confident the free market will even things out quickly.
Hamide says he hopes to reopen in a few days. He says a number of growers will be making a major harvest in a few months and that will help stabilize the supply.