Washington Opens First Retail Marijuana Stores

Washington Opens First Retail Marijuana Stores

It has been an historic month for the state of Washington. After passing Initiative 502 in 2012, which legalized small amounts of marijuana to adults, retail stores are now open for business.

On July 8, Washington residents purchased legal marijuana from Cannabis City and Top Shelf Cannabis, the first two licensed retail cannabis shops to open since I 502 passed. Main Street Marijuana opened on Wednesday, July 9, and 2020 Solutions opened July, August 10.

James Lathrop, owner of Cannabis City, made an announcement on July 8 that “It’s time to free the weed” in Washington. Cannabis City opened at noon with ten pounds to sell on their opening day. Amber Gowan, the manager of Cannabis City, told Reuters on Thursday that she was expecting a shortage of inventory and anticipated closing before the next delivery. In preparation, they limited their customers to six grams per purchase as opposed to the legal limit of one ounce. Cannabis City opened on Tuesday and by Thursday they were out of stock, forcing the business to temporarily close until July 21.

Customers were arriving to wait in line as early as 4am for the 8am opening of Top Shelf Cannabis. Unlike Cannabis City, Top Shelf Cannabis had 23 pounds of marijuana to sell, although they sold out of specific strains on opening day. They offer 31 strains of marijuana from growers in Bremerton, Seattle and Spokane.

Wednesday was a big day for Main Street Marijuana as they opened their doors at 11 am. Main Street Marijuana is located right outside the Oregon border, attracting plenty of Oregon residents and locals of the Portland metropolitan area.

2020 Solutions allowed their customers to sleep in, not opening until 4:20pm. They initially planned to open on July 8, but due to problems with state-licensed processors they delayed their opening to July 10. Zack Henifin, a store manager, told the Bellingham Herald they sold marijuana to more than 1,300 customers on opening day.

It has been 19 months since Initiative 502 passed and 24 pot retailers have been given licenses. Eventually, 334 licenses will be be approved throughout the state. The locations of these licensed retailers are determined using a formula that correspond with the most populated areas in Washington. To receive a license a person or entity must meet certain qualifications and apply for a license. There are regulations that prevent minors from purchasing marijuana, and the location of the entity must be approved. Retail stores that are within one thousand feet from a “elementary or secondary school, playground, recreational center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library or any game arcade that allows minors to enter” are prohibited.

A marijuana processor or approved retailer will handle processing, storage, and sale of the marijuana products that will coincide with the sanitation regulations prescribed by Washington state Department of Agriculture. I 502 also states that an individual will not be able to incorporate marijuana sales into their existing business. This includes concentrates, infused products, and paraphernalia. It is unlawful for marijuana licensees or any individual to consume marijuana on the licensed premise. Currently the liquor control board is not accepting new license applications.


Licensed retail marijuana shops in Washington:

  • Cascade Kropz in Arlington
  • Green Theory in Bellevue
  • Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham
  • 2020 Solutions in Bellingham
  • Margies Pot Shop in Camano Island
  • The Happy Crop Shoppe in East Wenatchee
  • High Time Station in Ephrata
  • Freedom Market in Kelso
  • 420 Carpenter in Lacey
  • Whidbey Island Cannabis Company in Langley
  • Westside 420 Recreational in Longview
  • 4 Us Retail in Okanogan
  • Altitude in Prosser
  • Cannabis City in Seattle
  • Spokane Green Leaf in Spokane
  • Santori in Spokane w
  • Instant Karma in Spokane
  • Green Star Cannabis in Spokane
  • Rainer on Pine in Tacoma
  • Creative Retail Management in Tacoma
  • Station 420 in Union Gap
  • New Vansterdam in Vancouver
  • Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver
  • Fresh Greens in Winthrop