Today the Washington State Liquor Control Board issued the first 24 of 334 licenses to sell marijuana from retail storefronts, kicking off a 24-hour moratorium before the stores can start selling bud to adults 21 and over tomorrow. The stores have names like "Altitude," "High Time Station," and "Bud Hut."
But it must be mentioned that Seattle—the largest city in Washington, with roughly one-tenth of the state's population—currently has only one licensed store, the result of a convoluted licensing system, narrow zoning regulations, federal guidelines that punish drug activity in certain locations, and decisions by the liquor board to dole our licenses via a poorly managed lottery system. In addition, the state has licensed few pot growers. This means there are only two stores in populous King County (about one-third of the state's population with 2 million people) while Island County also gets two stores, despite having only 80,000 residents, and the city of Spokane has three stores.
So if you go...
Expect massive shortages of pot. Expect prices to be stupid expensive. Expect it to be as confusing as you'd expect it to be when potheads and teetotaling bureaucrats are suddenly running a mutibillion dollar industry. I asked liquor board spokesman Brian Smith if he predicts huge shortages. "I think it's going to be tight at first," he said flatly. Have you said that sentence a lot? I asked. "A lot," he said.
I'll post more on how the state screwed up this process later.
But in the meantime, rejoice, Washington, because no matter how rocky the road to get legal pot or how long the lines to buy a gram tomorrow, it's a fuckofalot better than the long, rocky road to jail or fines afforded to the pot smokers in 48 other states.
Please note, stoners, before you make plans: Not all of these stores will be open tomorrow. Some will open Thursday or later this month, while others, well, who knows when they'll get their first shipments or if they'll open on time. After all they're pot stores, not Swiss trains. If you have questions, the state has posted the list of stores and their phone numbers over here. Okay, have it. Wee'd da people. It's not a pipe dream. Lift the smoke screen. Fweeeedom. [Insert every other awful pot cliche you've ever seen in a news article here.] Be safe!
Whidbey Island Cannabis Company, 5826 S Kramer Rd Ste, Langley Westside420 Recreational, 4503 Ocean Beach Hwy, Longview Verde Valley, 4007 Main St, Union Gap Top Shelf Cannabis, 3857 Hannegan Rd, Bellingham Happy Crop Shoppe, 50 Rock Island Rd, East Wenatchee Spokane Green Leaf, 9107 N Country Homes Blvd, Spokane Space, 3111 S Pine St, Tacoma Satori/instant Karma 9301 N Division St , Spokane New Vansterdam, 6515 E. Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver Margie's Pot Shop, 405 E Stueben, Bingen Main Street Marijuana, 2314 Main St, Vancouver High Time Station, 1448 Basin St Nw, Ephrata Green Theory, 10697 Main St Ste B, Bellevue Green Star Cannabis, 1403 N Division St, Spokane Freedom Market, 820a Westside Hwy, Kelso Creative Retail Management, 7046 Pacific Ave,tacoma Cascade Kropz, 19129 Smokey Point Blvd , Arlington Cannabis City, 2733 4th Ave S, Seattle Bud Hut, 1123 E State Route 532, Camano Island Austin Lott, 29 Horizon Flats Rd, Winthrop Altitude, 260 Merlot Dr, Prosser 4us Retail, 23251 Hwy 20, Okanogan 420 Carpenter, 422 Carpenter Rd, Lacey 2020 Solutions, 2018 Iron St, Bellingham