Why Washington state’s legal bud is still stuck in the weeds

Sales of recreational marijuana finally began this month in the state of Washington, but things are off to a slow start. Only 25 retail licenses have been issued so far, and supply is already running low. Just three days after opening for business, Seattle’s only weed retailer, Cannabis City, announced that its entire inventory had sold out.

Washington and Colorado became the first states in the US to legalize recreational marijuana under voter referendums held in November 2012, but they charted very different courses over the following months. Whereas Colorado’s retail market opened relatively smoothly at the beginning of this year, netting millions in sales and creating thousands of jobs, regulators in Washington have been more…

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