Pot Sellers Preparing for the Holidays

From new marijuana strains for the holidays to gift sets and pot-and-pumpkin pies, the marijuana industry in Colorado is scrambling to get a piece of the holiday shopping dollar. Dispensaries in many states have been offering holiday specials for medical customers for years – but this first season of open-to-all-adults marijuana sales in some states means pot shops are using more of the tricks used by traditional retailers to attract holiday shoppers.

Here’s a look at how the new recreational marijuana industry is trying to attract holiday shoppers:

OLD-FASHIONED DOORBUSTERS

Traditional retailers sell some items below cost to drive traffic and attract sales. Recreational marijuana retailers are doing the same.

The Grass Station in Denver is selling an ounce of marijuana for $50 – about a fifth of the cost of the next-cheapest strain at the Colorado dispensary – to the first 16 customers in line Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That works out to less than $1 a joint for the ambitious early-rising pot shopper. Owner Ryan Fox says his Black Friday pot is decent quality, and says he’s selling below cost to attract attention and pick up some new customers. As Colorado dispensaries approach a year of being able to sell weed to all adults over 21, not just card-carrying medical patients, Fox says retailers have to do more than just sell pot to get public attention.

Pot shops are using old and new media to tout the sales. One dispensary is taking out a full-page “Happy Danksgiving” ad in The Denver Post and is inviting shoppers to text a code for extra savings.

VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS

Sweets and marijuana seem to go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Many dispensaries this time of year resemble a Starbucks at the mall, with holiday spices and festive music in the air. One of the state’s largest edible-pot makers, Sweet Grass Kitchen, debuted a new miniature pumpkin pie that delivers about as much punch as a medium-sized joint. The pie joins holiday-spiced teas, minty pot confections and cannabis-infused honey oil for those who want to bake their own pot goodies at home. Even some edibles makers that specialize in savory foods, not sweets, are putting out some sugary items for the holidays.

HOLIDAY STRAINS

Some shops are angling for high-end holiday shoppers, not an increase in foot traffic. Colorado Harvest and Evergreen Apothecary timed the release of some top-shelf strains of potent pot for the holiday season.

GIFT WRAPPING

What holiday shopper doesn’t appreciate free gift wrapping? Or a gift set ready to pop under the tree? The Growing Kitchen is making $49.99 gift sets for both the medical and recreational pot user. The sets include the edible-pot maker’s new Mighty Mint cookie, a pot-infused confection new for the holiday shopping season, along with marijuana-infused salves for muscles sore from the ski slopes. Other dispensaries are offering free gift totes and stockings with purchases.

GIFT CARDS

For the shopper who wants to give pot but doesn’t know how the recipient likes to get high, Colorado’s 300 or so recreational dispensaries so far have been able to issue only handwritten gift certificates. That’s because banking regulations prohibit major credit cards companies from being able to back marijuana-related gift cards the way they do for other retailers.

Just this month, a Colorado company started offering pot shops a branded gift card they can sell just like other retailers. The cards are in eight Denver dispensaries so far, and coming soon will be loyalty cards similar to grocery-store loyalty cards that track purchases and can be used to suggest sales or new products to frequent shoppers.

CANNAGIFTS FOR THE MAIL

Just because marijuana can’t legally leave Colorado doesn’t mean dispensaries don’t have items for out-of-state friends and family. Some dispensaries are highlighting some non-cannabis gift items – things like T-shirts, rolling papers and lotions made with legal herbs. The sets are for shoppers who want to give a taste of Colorado’s new marijuana industry without breaking federal law by mailing it or taking it out of state.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

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WA State’s First Marijuana Auction Brings in $600,000

Washington state’s first marijuana auction brought in about $600,000. Fireweed Farms of Prosser sold about 300 pounds of pot to state-licensed processors and retailers Saturday.

Bidding took place under a black tent fronted by tall heaters, and the event was monitored by at least two representatives of the Washington Liquor Control Board. Bidders could smell plastic bags of buds before offering a bid.

The marijuana was planted in May and harvested between late September and mid-October. Fireweed Farms owner Randy Williams had sold some of his marijuana to recreational processors earlier this year, but the auction represented the bulk of his harvest.

He said he held the auction to “get rid of it all quick” so he could spend time with his grandson instead of packaging marijuana. The harvested and dried marijuana was priced by the gram and auctioned by the strain in lots ranging from about half a pound to five pounds.

Williams said he planned to donate proceeds from three lots, totaling $14,000, to local schools.

Lt. Jeremy Wissing, an officer with the state Liquor Control Board who monitored a portion of Saturday’s auction, said it appeared to be well run.

“I’m seeing a well-organized event,” Wissing said outside the Fireweed Farms grow area. “It isn’t a circus. I’m not seeing open consumption of marijuana.”

Williams initially hoped to make $1 million through the marijuana fire sale, but said during the auction that he’d be happy with $600,000 or $700,000.

The purchased marijuana was to remain under video-monitored quarantine at Fireweed Farms overnight Saturday, Wissing said. Buyers could either retrieve their marijuana Sunday or arrange for it to be delivered to their business by Williams.

Although Saturday’s auction was the state’s first, Wissing doesn’t expect it to be the last.

“It’s just a different way of moving his product,” Wissing said.

Interest in the marijuana auction was so intense that Williams commissioned the use of a parking lot across the street from his property to accommodate the visitors.

Buyers were provided with a detailed list of strains and lot sizes that provided a complete potency profile, labeling requirements and the date the batch was tested by Confidence Analytics, a state-certified laboratory. The auction attracted about three dozen potential buyers from across the state.

Nazareth Victoria, a 50-year-old licensed marijuana processor from Seattle, left empty-handed. He came because he was interested in seeing what was available, but ultimately wasn’t sure about the quality, he said.

“I was just interested in the whole process,” Victoria said. “To me, smoking the product is the ultimate test to tell you the quality.” Sampling the product was strictly forbidden Saturday.
 
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Flightcar Lets Travelers Park for Free Except DUI Defendants

Travelers planning on leaving their cars at Sea-Tac Airport can park without paying at a lot on International Blvd.  if they’re willing to let Flightcar rent their vehicle to incoming travelers.

“While you’re on your trip, you’ll actually get notifications so you know what’s happening with your car,” said Flightcar co-founder and president Kevin Petrovic. “You know whether someone rented it.”

The 20-year-old Petrovic isn’t old enough to rent a car at most agencies. He left Princeton to launch his peer-to-peer car sharing company and says he’s yet to make a profit.

But people parking can save money and make money. Vacationers park for free and get a car wash at no cost, even if nobody ends up renting their vehicle. Car owners get reimbursed up 5 to 20 cents a mile depending on their car model.

“Because we use other people’s cars and don’t use our own cars, we’re actually able to offer a little bit of a lower price,” Petrovic said.

He also said Flightcar screens the driving history of every renter. People with DUI’s or more than 2 minor violations in the last two years aren’t eligible.

If the car is scratched, wrecked, or stolen, Flightcar covers it. The startup takes out a million dollar liability and full collision on each car.

Some Sea-Tac travelers expressed reservations about letting a stranger behind their wheel.

Flightcar is new to Seattle but already has locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Pot Advocates Look to California Next

Marijuana advocates, fresh off victories for legal recreational pot in Oregon, Alaska and the nation’s capital, are already preparing for their next target, and it’s a big one: California.

They are aiming to ask voters in the nation’s largest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016, hoping to draw on a more liberal and larger electorate during a presidential election to help them avoid a repeat of their 2010 failed pot measure.

The victories in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia came in a midterm election that saw a low turnout and a conservative electorate hand Republicans back control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006.

The results emboldened them – even from a loss in Florida, where a medical marijuana proposal earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent required to pass.

The pot votes were considered by many to be the first real test of marijuana reform’s popularity since Washington state and Colorado passed the nation’s first legal pot laws in 2012, boosted then by the higher turnout among young people typical of presidential election years.

After the wins in Colorado and Washington, a coalition of activists considered rushing a tax-and-regulate measure to this year’s ballot in California. Their polling showed solid support, but they remained chastened by 2010, when a legalization proposal there polled well but fell short.

Early this year, given the huge expense of a serious statewide campaign in California, they opted for what they considered a safer bet: waiting until the presidential election year in 2016, with its anticipated bumper crop of younger voters.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which was heavily involved in Colorado’s campaign, has formed a committee to begin fundraising in California, where it again plans to urge voters to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Activists also hope to bring legal pot to Massachusetts, Maine and other states.

Tuesday saw voters in the District of Columbia approving the possession of up to two ounces of pot and up to three mature marijuana plants for personal use, but the proposal did not provide for the legal sale of marijuana. That’s left up to the D.C. Council.

The measures in Oregon and Alaska follow Colorado and Washington state in setting up regulation and taxation systems.

Advocates, opponents and the U.S. government have closely watched Washington and Colorado to gauge the impact on the black market, drug use among teens and impaired driving, among other areas.

In both states, adults over 21 can purchase marijuana, including potent extracts and edibles, at state-licensed dispensaries.

Colorado is on track to bring in about $84 million this year from medical and recreational pot taxes and fees. In Washington, where recreational pot sales began in July, the tax collections have totaled more than $7 million.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.