When Wes Abney and David Jablinske decided to open their own shop, they incorporated with the help of a lawyer, got city and state business licenses and insurance for their inventory and leased a former sports bar in North Seattle.
Then they invited the cops in for a visit. Their shop, after all, is a medical-marijuana dispensary called West Coast Wellness.
“We want to do everything out in the open, above board,” said Jablinske, a needle-thin 20-year-old. Abney, 22, nodded, saying, “The police can come in anytime.”
Depending on how you view the state’s 12-year-old medical-marijuana law, Abney and Jablinske are innovative pioneers or numskulls looking to get arrested.
Either way, they’re clearly not alone.
Washington’s new “potrepreneurs” are suddenly serious about catching up with California and Colorado in the medical-marijuana dispensary industry.
In the past seven months, dispensaries have sprouted across the state, exploiting a loophole in the state medical-marijuana law that neither explicitly allows nor prohibits them. State tax officials estimate at least 120 are open, mostly in the Puget Sound area. Dozens more likely remain underground.
The options are dizzying. Pot in many connoisseur strains or cannabis-infused food, from lollipops to pasta primavera? Home delivery or strip-mall storefronts aspiring for a pharmacy look?
And there are