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Washington’s Top Cannabis Regulator: Growers Could Soon Sell Direct to Consumers

The director of Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board has suggested regulators might allow growers to sell directly to consumers to help alleviate oversupply and the overly competitive marketplace.

Full story after the jump.

At a conference last week, the director of the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) said that the state is considering allowing small producers to sell directly to consumers, Leafly reports.

In previous years — during Washington’s medical-cannabis-only period — “cannabis farmer’s markets,” where producers could sell directly to patients, were common.

The latest statement from Rick Garza, the Director of the LCB, was posed as a solution regarding financial difficulties faced by many Washington growers. Washington does not allow vertical integration — where a single business is in charge of both the producing and selling sides of the market — and this has created strong competition for customer dollars, as well as shelf space in retail stores.

While many growers are struggling, retailers and customers both seem to be satisfied with the system. Allowing growers to reach customers directly would also help the growers be satisfied as well.

The proposal still needs to be voted on by the full 3-member LCB, however. Even after passing that hurdle, it’s unclear exactly how growers would sell to customers directly — whether it would be a return to a farmer’s market structure or if it would be more along the lines of how wineries and distilleries in the state have tasting rooms.

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