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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Legal Pot Prices May Be High To Start

Katherine Hitt

Marijuana users may pay some high prices to get high when Washington state’s legal pot market launches next week . The initial price-per-gram could be nearly double what medical marijuana card-holders pay.

Generally speaking, medical marijuana goes for $10 to $15 per gram -- about two quarter-sized nuggets -- in Washington. But recreational users who want to buy legally at Washington’s new pot stores may pay double that -- at least initially.

James Lathrop plans to open the first recreational marijuana store in Seattle. He said, expect to pay $20 a gram, taxes included.

“Many people have complained about that," Lathrop said. "In reality, I mean we’re talking a twenty. I think that’s great. You spend $20 on a bottle of wine.”

Prices are expected to come down as more stores open and the legal supply becomes more plentiful.

Earlier this year, Washington lawmakers considered rolling the state’s existing medical marijuana marketplace into the new recreational one. But that didn’t pass. The idea is expected to return in the next legislative session.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."