By Steve Elliott
Some recreational marijuana retailers in Clark County, Washington, are planning to sue cannabis growers, claiming they're working together to keep prices high.
The class action suit is being filed on behalf of I-502 marijuana retailers everywhere in the state, not just in Clark County, with the eventual hope of bringing down the sky-high cost of weed for consumers, reports Tim Becker at KOIN 6.
"There's a reason that the prices are so high here, and it is not the free market at all," said attorney Liz Hallock, who said she hasn't finished writing the lawsuit.
"The charges are unfair competition, anti-trust, and the per se violations are collusion and intent to price fix," Hallock said.
Legal marijuana costs about $35 a gram in Clark County. Meanwhile, in Colorado, the other state where recreational cannabis is legal, a gram is only $15.
It's that $20 difference that Hallock said is caused by marijuana producers' artificially inflating prices to retailers.
"When producers here in Washington are asking for $12 to $13 a gram, they're marking up the prices 1,300 percent, which does not benefit the consumer at all," Hallock said.
The larger growers are setting the high prices, and smaller producers are following their lead, according to Hallock, who spent the last two months investigating and gathering evidence that the growers' conduct violates Washington's Consumer Protection Act.