Three South Sound stores among first to get marijuana licenses

Staff writerJuly 7, 2014 


Rainier Wellness employees Jaimie Billings, 24, left, and Jynessa Bowen, 20, man the coffee shop-like counter as Priscilla Cassara, 30, of Federal Way, places an order on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Owner Don Muridan says the dispensary has a surplus of supply for medical marijuana patients but a shortage for recreational use when his shops convert to a retail establishments. Cassara said she uses the marijuana for anxiety and insomnia.

DREW PERINE — Staff photographer Buy Photo

State officials have approved Washington’s first licenses to sell marijuana at retail, including two in Tacoma and one in Lacey.

The 24 newly licensed stores can open as early as Tuesday.

But getting a license doesn’t guarantee a store is ready to open. Legally grown and processed marijuana is in short supply and some stores are waiting until they have enough to stock their shelves.

It’s possible none in the South Sound will be open Tuesday. One Tacoma shop, Rainier on Pine, says supply problems have delayed its opening until probably some time in the next two weeks.

The Lacey shop, 420 Carpenter, plans to open Friday so as not to sell out its limited supply before the weekend. Expect high prices around $25 per gram including taxes.

The first licenses include shops in:

Lacey: 422 Carpenter Road, Suite 105

Tacoma: 3111 S. Pine St.

Tacoma: 7046 Pacific Ave.

Seattle: 2733 4th Ave S., first floor

Bellevue: 10697 Main St., suite B

Arlington: 19129 Smokey Point Blvd., suite B

The state Liquor Control Board received more than 2,000 applications for 334 retail store slots.

The agency used a lottery to rank the applicants that qualified, part of an 18-month process that also included licensing of growers and processors. The agency says so far it has licensed producers to grow more than 687,000 square feet of plants.

But the successful applicants had to find seedlings, grow them into flowering plants, harvest the flowers, dry them, have them tested for contaminants and potency, package them and drive them to a retailer, all on a tight timeline that has affected supply.

Jordan Schrader: 360-786-1826 @Jordan_Schrader

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