Indoor versus Outdoor Cannabis
With Indoor, the environment is tightly controlled. You cannot control the outdoor environment without using some kind of “product.” In Washington State, one of the big threats is cross-pollination from pine trees. (It makes the plant taste weird.) And, then of course, there are all those critters that live all over the place.
Indoor is a little more expensive because of electricity and water costs.
Hand-trimmed versus Auto-trimmed
This should be a big deal to EVERY customer. Hand-trimmed product maintains potency because it does NOT cut off the trichome (potency cell). When auto-trimmers do their work, they aggressively roll and cut the buds down and remove a ton of the potency. They look like tiny footballs.
This is a cost issue as well. Auto-trimmers can trim 20 times faster in bulk than a careful hand-trim where they have labor costs.
Who grow’s or makes the BEST product(s)?
This is a running industry joke, and it goes like this: “Everyone grows or makes the best product. If you don’t believe it, just ask ‘em!” In reality, there are three types of products: Good, Great, or Exceptional.
We’ve been open for three years and have seen almost everything. In reality, our experience shows that the small growers (Tier 1s and Tier 2s) do a much better job than any mass-producing Tier 3 who just “turns and burns.”
Why are some retail stores less expensive than other stores?
There are lots of reasons, but the most important is Quality. In this market, you get what you pay for. Do you want outdoor? Auto-trimmed? Clean-green? Organic? Indoor?
This works for concentrates and edibles as well? Do you want the source material to be someone’s failed crop (mold, pesticides, etc.) that gets reprocessed and sold as motor oil BHO or bad-tasting edibles? Or, do you want clean product like CO2 or Distillate as the source oil or fat (butter, etc.)?
Is all flower tested? And, isn’t it all clean?
Yes, all flower is tested. It’s the law. But it is NOT all clean! The playing field is far from fair. Some growers are less than ethical about supplying a “representative” sample. We know of growers who place a plant in a clean room, but take the rest of the same lot-strain and spray the hell out of it! Guess which one they send for testing?
If testing were fair and consistent, we would not find samples with mold, bud rot, dead and LIVE spider mites, and a host of “other” issues. We’re shocked by what discount stores buy and sell. Ask yourself: “Why is it so cheap?” We turn away 80 percent of the testing samples we receive. Quality matters.
Why does Spokane have so many stores?
Spokane’s population only ever supported the original 18 allocated stores. Spokane City Leadership thought adding more stores would help increase their tax revenue. In reality, there are only so many customers. So, they just spread it around. Not a good move on their part.
What did this do to the market? It forced certain stores into low-quality discount models where price and NOT quality reigns supreme. No customer service and anything cheap became the model for most stores. Customer Service and Quality fell to the wayside for most of Spokane but NOT at Green Star Cannabis.
How does the out-the-door price breakout?
First think of the cost of a quality gram and then do the reverse math. It goes like this: Out-the door price say ($10). Liquor and Cannabis Board Excise Tax 37% ($2.53), Department of Revenue 8.8%, State and Local, (.61 cents), back out the cost of the good (say $3.50), then comes the Internal Revenue Service on what’s left over 20-25%, ($3.36/.84 cents). In total, that $10 gram is $2.52 to the retail store when you walk out the door. That’s outrageous.
To make matters worse, the IRS has a law called 280E. This does not allow us to take standard business deductions…EVER! No rent, internet, nothing but the cost of the product. So, that $2.52 must cover all the overhead and expenses for a Retail Store.
Don’t forget, there are smaller penny-on-the dollar taxes like the Business and Occupation Tax, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, matching Federal and Social Security payroll taxes, etc. It adds up!
This leaves only one choice: If a retailer wants to lower prices, they have to buy cheaper product. That’s the only choice. Remember: These are businesses that cost a ton of money to run, and no one works for free!