By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“We don't have our license yet,” said Greg Brotherton, owner of Sea Change Cannabis, at 282332 U.S. Highway 101 in Discovery Bay.
“We were under the impression that it would be expedited but it is taking longer than what we were led to expect.”
If he gets his license to operate, Brotherton hopes to open the shop at 10 a.m. July 27 and operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through that weekend or until all the marijuana is sold.
Brotherton said the store passed inspection on July 14, submitted the necessary paperwork and waited for the issuance of the license.
He pulled the plug on Thursday night when the license did not arrive and he realized that he would not be able to meet the requirement to quarantine product for 24 hours prior to opening.
Newspaper stories appeared this week about the store's opening which could draw a crowd for the anticipated opening.
Brotherton said he would put up a sign on his building, but that he needs to contact the Liquor Control Board to determine the sign's legal specifications.
When he opens, Brotherton expects to sell about four pounds of prepackaged marijuana.
He said he continues to look for more but a shortage may prevent him from stocking more.
The state has licensed about 100 growers.
The state allotted Jefferson County four retail cannabis stores: one in Port Townsend and three anywhere else.
It will allow Clallam County six retail stores: two in Port Angeles, one in Sequim and three anywhere else.
None have announced definite dates for opening.
Washington voters in November 2012 approved I-502, which allows the recreational use of marijuana in the state.
(Published in the Peninsula Daily News on Wednesday, July 16)
DISCOVERY BAY — The first recreational marijuana store on the North Olympic Peninsula is scheduled to open Saturday in a faux log cabin that was most recently an espresso stand.
Sea Change Cannabis passed its final inspection Monday.
When Greg Brotherton, owner of the shop at 282332 U.S. Highway 101 in Discovery Bay, serves his first customer at 10 a.m., he expects long lines with both locals and those traveling to and from the Sequim Lavender Festival and Sequim Lavender Farm Tour & Fair stopping by.
“It's fortuitous that we are opening on the same weekend as the Lavender Festival, so we can celebrate two weeds on the same day,” Brotherton said.
“We'll have two people here at all times: one to serve the customers and another to manage the queue.
“We will serve one group at a time and hope to provide a good customer experience.”
Brotherton, 42, is an owner of both the Quilcene Village Store and the newly opened Discovery Bay Village Store, which is adjacent to the pot shop.
The first wave of legal marijuana outlets opened across the state this month.
Due to a shortage of approved product, many of them sold out quickly.
Brotherton said that could happen to him.
The store will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays, with hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., until a more reliable inventory develops, he said.
“We don't want to open for a few days and then have to close because we run out, so opening just on weekends to start seems like a good idea,” he said.
He has secured about 4 pounds of six different strains of smokable marijuana that will be packaged in portions of 1 gram and an eighth of an ounce.
Edible marijuana products will not be available because none has yet been approved by the state for consumption, Brotherton said.
Brotherton estimates the cost per gram will be about $20, while the larger package will cost $50 or $60.
Depending on demand, he may initially have to limit each customer to 1 or 2 grams, he said.
Cash will be managed off-site. That the business is cash only for now will cause some extra effort, Brotherton said.
Taxes will need to be computed and paid regularly in cash.
Once the business is open a few months, he plans to contribute a percentage to the community for a cause yet to be determined.
“We want to be good neighbors and bring about positive change,” he said.
“A lot of time, a liquor store or a medical dispensary can come into a seedy area and make it seedier.
“We don't want it to be that way.
“We want to class up the place and tie it in with the grocery and a new coffee stand.”
Two other pot shops in Jefferson County are in the latter stage of the approval process.
Gracen Hook, who expects to open Port Townsend's sole retail outlet at 1433 W. Sims Way, doesn't expect to open until September at the earliest, while Forrest Thomsen's Herbal Access Retail at 661 Ness' Corner Road is shooting for mid-August.
Marijuana buyers from Clallam County will have to make a run across the county line to get some of the North Olympic Peninsula's first legal pot.
It's legal to drive with marijuana in the car as long as it isn't used in the car. And that is fortunate for those in Clallam County who want to buy pot because it appears it will be awhile before any of Clallam County's six retail shops will be open.
“It's not going to happen this month, for sure,” Malik Atwater said of his Mr. Buds shop in Port Angeles.
“We're working real hard on getting our building done right. We want to open something that's spectacular,” Atwater said. “We don't want to look like a medical marijuana place.”
The owner of the eccentrically decorated Colonel Hudson's restaurant next door to his soon-to-be pot shop, Atwater said he wants his new venture to have the same character as his restaurant.
“Something weird and memorable,” he said, adding that he took inspiration from a recent trip to Mount Rushmore outside Rapid City, S.D.
Clallam County was allotted six retail shops by the state Liquor Control Board.
The first slate of pot shops opened last week, but none was on the Peninsula.
And that's fine with Rodney Caldwell.
Caldwell said he's waiting for the growers and processors of newly legal recreational marijuana to produce more before he thinks about opening up his Weed-R-Us on U.S. Highway 101 outside Port Angeles.
“I'm not going to open when there's nothing to sell,” he said. “That's just not smart business.”
Washington has 100 growers now licensed, with more coming every week, who are currently growing some 700,000 square feet of marijuana canopy.
On its Facebook page, the Port Angeles Sparket store said it expects to spend the next six to eight weeks renovating its building on First Street to meet building codes.
Owners of The Hidden Bush outside Port Angeles and High Grade Organics in Forks did not return calls asking when they expect to open.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.