It’s been 21 months in the making and 2 of the 5 approved marijuana retail stores opened in Bellingham in early July. Four more retail outlets are expected for Bellingham and 9 more throughout Whatcom County in the coming weeks.
Visitors can expect to find brisk business, clearly labeled product and a generally festive experience. Customers were in line as early as 4 am for the 8 am opening of Top Shelf Cannabis. One customer drove from Alabama to be there for the opening and wanted his photo taken standing with Top investors John Evich and Tom Beckley on their opening day July 8, 2014.
Inside are glass cabinets containing marijuana bud. The cost per gram varied, but many were in the $18 – $20 range. Labels mandated by the WSLCB display lab results on amounts of THC, CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC totals, identify the grower and/or producer, provide a description of the expected effect of the strain and contain batch information for the extensive tracking systems to ensure the marijuana is provided by a licensed, Washington grown business.
Beckley reported that within the first 4 hours Top Shelf Cannabis served approximately 1,000 customers selling approximately 1,000 grams of legal marijuana. Owners, staff and customers were still exuding excitement in the third day of operation of an entirely new industry. Top Shelf Cannabis is located just north of Sunset at 3863 Hannegan Road.
Bellingham’s second retail store opened at a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 10 at 4:20 pm, a time celebrated by marijuana smokers similar to the 5 pm happy hour. 2020 Solutions is located at 2018 Iron Street, with easy access from N. State Street. The shop is cozy and very friendly. Aaron Nelson, Senior VP of Operations shared that he “is excited to responsibly provide and interact in a comfortable environment with customers interested in cannabis.”
2020 Solutions opened with product sold in special combinations. A three pack of “Blewetts” for $42 and a combination of Godzilla, New Kush and Cinex (1/8’s, 3.5 grams) for $95. The marijuana on display tended toward strains higher in THC, the psychoactive ingredient, with very few offerings of high CBD strains used by medical patients.
Both retail stores carry different strains of marijuana and paraphernalia, but it will be several months before edibles and oils are available on the retail market due to a delay in the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) approvals for processors.
Visitors are met at the entrance of each store to verify age before entry. Be sure to understand the regulations of legal marijuana in Washington State before you purchase.