News

First marijuana stores opening in Washington

Washington State's first two dozen approved retail marijuana stores include two outlets in Bellingham and others in communities just south of the Okanagan.

The state approved the licenses overnight and several operators vowed to open their doors Tuesday.

"We're opening tomorrow at 8 o'clock," Tom Beckley said Monday. "We've secured 20 pounds plus."

He's the owner of Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham and the electrician joins the ranks of a new class of marijuana entrepreneurs since the state legalized recreational use of the drug and adult possession of small quantities in 2012.

But there are growing pains.

Approved producers of cannabis in the state have been slow to get enough product grown and ready for market, so the supply shortage has meant higher-than-expected prices as stores open.

Beckley predicts most stores will charge $15 to $20 a gram – more than double the prices in B.C. pot dispensaries.

"After a few months I think the prices will come back down when more growers come on line."

Beckley planned to charge $10 a gram for his first customers on the basis that a lower introductory price would be "good for the state" on the first day of retail pot operations.

No Blaine or Point Roberts applicants were approved in the initial announcement, but more are expected to get the green light from the state's liquor control board.

Other approved stores are in the Everett area.

There are two more further east in Winthrop and Okanogan and two more in Spokane.

B.C. marijuana advocates have said the price of pot in the province has been declining as Americans gain easier access to the drug at home.

Mobile users click here for map of newly approved Washington marijuana stores

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Amateur photographer contest winners announced
 
Paint Prince Rupert organizer receives BC Achievement Award.
 
Prince Rupert School District signs lease agreement with Port Edward council
Work underway to raise first totem pole in Gwaii Haanas in more than a century
 
Cops for Cancer Tour de North wraps up in Prince Rupert
 
RCMP respond to fire in downtown Prince Rupert
UPDATE: RCMP confirm family connection in fatal accident, but not releasing names
 
Private investigator investigating Highway of Tears
 
Human Rights Tribunal rejects smart meter complaint