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 ...

Report ranks high spenders among Metro Vancouver cities
 
Updated: Surrey man victim of fatal Langley collision
 
Stolen cars land three under arrest
Canadians hail de la Renta as fashion force
 
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
 
Attacks on women prompt warning from Surrey RCMP
Rush-hour chaos at Qayqayt calmed
 
Woman critically injured in three-vehicle crash
 
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.