More pot stores working to open after successful first day of sales

July 9, 2014 

The five recreational marijuana stores that managed to open Tuesday, the first day of legal pot sales in Washington, sold $250,000 worth of the drug, state officials say.

Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr said the day — which saw shops open in Seattle, Bellingham, Prosser, Spokane and Kelso — was a success. But he called it "the tip of the iceberg.”

“This didn’t necessarily prove a whole lot other than the day came and went and there weren’t any major problems,” Marr said.

The liquor board, charged with regulating the recreational marijuana system authorized by Initiative 502, has licensed 25 stores statewide. Various problems, including a late start by growers that led to short supply, have kept many from opening immediately.

In Kelso, owners of Freedom Market waited most of Tuesday for their marijuana to arrive from Spokane. The store finally opened at 9:30 p.m., about an hour after the shipment arrived. It shut down for the day at 11:50 p.m. – 10 minutes shy of the state’s mandated closing time – having sold three quarters of a pound of pot.

In Tacoma, two retail stores have been given the go-ahead to open. Both remained closed on Wednesday.

On the door at Creative Retail Management, at 7046 Pacific Ave., a sign proclaimed that the store would open on Monday. A manager at Rainier on Pine near the intersection of Pine and Center streets in Tacoma's Nalley Valley said that store still lacked ample supply of marijuana and would open "soon."

The state Liquor Control Board is expected to release a new list of authorized retailers as early as next week. The state eventually expects to have more than 300 recreational pot shops across the state.

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