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Tacoma’s first retail marijuana store will open Friday in Nalley Valley

Tacoma, this bud’s for you. Finally.

City of Destiny marijuana smokers who have been patiently waiting for retail pot sales in their own hometown may now exhale.

Executive Director Don Muridan confirmed Wednesday that Rainier on Pine, at 3111 S. Pine St. on the edge of Nalley Valley, will open its doors Friday at 10 a.m.

The retail store was one of two Tacoma outlets initially approved for a retail sales license by the state Liquor Control Board. The second, Creative Retail Management at 7046 Pacific Ave., has posted a sign on its door stating it will open sometime in August.

Muridan said Wednesday that he delayed opening Rainier on Pine to ensure that he had enough stock to serve customers. Along with other approved licensees, the store could have opened earlier this month.

A handful of stores are open statewide, and the first to open, in Seattle, closed after only a few days because its full supply had been sold.

Muridan said he did not know how many customers to expect Friday, but he has made provisions for security around his store.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland said Wednesday that both she and Councilwoman Lauren Walker will attend.

Adding to the two previously announced approvals, the state board this week approved two more licenses for retail sales Pierce County.

The first, Clear Choice Cannabis, is at 8001 Hosmer St. – where owner and licensee Adam Schmidt said Wednesday he plans to open Aug. 8.

“We expect it to be full,” he said. “We’re definitely going to be stuffed.”

Like Muridan, Schmidt said he has ample stock to meet customer demand.

Warren Birchard and Jerimiah Rasmussen, owners of Green Collar LLC, said Wednesday they were pleased to have received notice that their license application had been approved. They remain unsure, however, when they might open.

“If we got product today, we’ll open tomorrow,” Birchard said.

“We didn’t want to buy product earlier,” Rasmussen said. “We wanted to wait until the market gets better.”

Also, because their store is located in unincorporated Pierce County, they face a de facto ban on retail marijuana stores. The Pierce County Council has passed a measure saying a marijuana retailer in unincorporated parts of the county must pass certain land use tests, and that marijuana cannot be sold as long as the substance remains illegal under federal law. That measure of disapproval has not been tested in a court that could adjudicate whether state law trumps county law, or further, whether federal law, which sees marijuana as a dangerous drug, would trump state law.

“It’s just a weird position for us,” Rasmussen said.

Because of limited supply, Muridan said customers on Friday will be limited in the amount of marijuana they can purchase. Those restrictions may be removed once the supply of marijuana from growers increases, perhaps in late summer or in the autumn.

Also, the shelves will be bare of cannabis “edibles” come Friday at Rainier on Pine. So far, the state has approved only two producers and 10 products that contain marijuana infusions, and Muridan said his stock has yet to arrive.

Like Clear Choice Cannabis, which will stock a strong line of artist-blown glassware, Muridan said he will offer a large selection of pipes and bongs along with raw marijuana.

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