One Raymond, Washington, resident expresses his enthusiasm for the town’s new status:
Washington state’s new recreational cannabis law is known for being a little less “wild westy” than Colorado’s. The Rocky Mountain High state rushed its implementation and has had some problems. Washington (which only legalized private liquor sales shortly before it legalized pot) went about things more slowly and bureaucratically.
Though growers got into business rapidly (and face it, plenty of them had informally been in business for a very long time), retailers weren’t allowed to open until July 8 of this year, a full 20 months after Initiative 502 passed. Even then, the ‘crats didn’t make it easy. Stores-to-be weren’t even allowed to order product until they had jumped through every possible regulatory hoop — a long, iffy process in itself. This meant that those stores that proudly opened on the very first day might have only one or two types of bud, and that in short supply.
Most stores that opened early were in civilization. The majority of towns the size of Raymond (or even three or four times larger) don’t yet have cannabis retailers even if they have people who hold retail licenses. A few cities have even passed ordinances against pot retailers to try to keep reefer madness from sullying their streets.
Once again, though, itty-bitty hard-luck Raymond got into the game. Not on July 8 and not for a long while after. But on November 3 at 12:20 (probably because they didn’t want to wait until 4:20), a very friendly crew opened Mr. Doobees. And once again it’s on port property (as is the area’s sole medical marijuana co-op, BTW, but that’s under a separate set of laws).
Gotta love that name. Speaking of which, the fun name is yet another product of bureaucracy. The store was originally going to be called the [Something or Another, can’t quite recall] Apothecary, but the ‘crats decided that sounded too much like a medical dispensary. So instead Raymond got the much more cheeky, Outlawish, and much better “Mr. Doobees.” Thank you, state bureaucrats.
“Since 2014.” I like that part, too.
It’s a small place and still very much in the process of stocking up. Edibles, oils, and waxes are still to come, and so far they carry just one variety of vaporizor. But visitors can purchase a wild array of pipes and 14 varieties of cannabis, from the knock-your-socks-off AK-47 (20.62% THC) and Afghan Kush (26.34% THC) to the milder Blue Dream (12.1% THC) and Island Sweet Skunk (13.8% THC), a pair of pleasant little sativa dominants.
Their most primo bud goes for $30 a gram (all taxes included in the price), with lesser quality “party packs” and sale items running $15 per gram or less.
Here’s the very friendly Jordyn manning (or womaning) the front counter:
Here’s her very friendly boss, HJ, in the secured area where transactions are completed. I shot this through a set of very hefty iron bars:
And those odd objects in front of him? Well, that’s something you probably never saw back in the day when everybody bought from friends or friends of friends or backstreet dealers. In those jars are 5-gram buds of prime cannabis indica (or an indica-dominant hybrid), wrapped with blinking Christmas tree lights.
Here’s a closer look, complete with tiny snowmen. Aren’t they cute?
They’re nitrogen-preserved, too. Just like the freeze-dried or dehydrated food in those #10 cans you may have in your pantry. Perfect for the survivalist stoner on your Christmas list. Or they would be if they were for sale. They’re actually novelties Mr. Doobees will auction off after Christmas. Still, somebody will end up with a charming conversation piece and, with the nitrogen preservation, an emergency stash with which to survive the zombie apocalypse. (How an emergency stash of grass might help during the zombie apocalypse, I’m not sure. But no doubt it would bring comfort to some folks I know.)
I didn’t get a photo of the equally friendly third staffer, Todd, (Hi, Todd!) who was busy on the computer. Todd says he’s just a flunky, but if so he’s the most enthusiastic flunky I’ve run into. Very eager to show everybody the newest goods, including a foot-long pipe known as The Gandalf. The entire staff is awesome and so full of cheer and excitement it almost makes up for the incredibly stupid state rules and mandated “security” procedures.
“Security” includes being carded twice for any one purchase (until they know you, at which point they’ll skip the second carding). Worse — much worse — it includes being carded into a shared database (for reasons too long, bureaucratic, and pointless to go into here).
Being put into a shared database for buying a legal item is way over the top offensive. I hope that “feature” of the regulations eventually goes away, though I assume that a database of cannabis users will be too delicious for the gov ever to give up.
Yes, there are always advantages, as well as disadvantages, to buying on the old black market. And being databased is possibly the biggest disadvantage of legalization. Or maybe it’s all the taxes. Hm. A toss-up there, I think.
Still, as I say, the eternal good cheer of the Mr. Doobees crew almost makes up for the regulatory nonsense, as does sheer wonder over the fact that the cannabis portion of the insane drug war is finally coming to an end. At least in some places. Long live Mr. Doobees! Long live sanity — and may this business become even more sane.
Of course, legal recreational cannabis being a new industry, there’s still a lot of shaking out to do. Much will eventually change. Some of the pioneers may not make it. Already Raymond, with its multitudes of new growers, is seeing a hint of this. One of the biggest grow operations just laid off 10 employees (so the nice young forklift driver from the last post told me). Right before Christmas. On short notice. Sucks, that.
An even bigger — like humongous — grow that’s supposed to take over the entire campus of a former lumber company halted construction a month ago and nobody I talked with knew what was going on. (Virtually all of them enviously signed something like, “They’ve got plenty of money,” though. So hopefully the construction halt is just a winter lull.
No, everything won’t always go well. But man, it’s exciting and heartening to witness this green rush and what it’s doing for this lovable, but formerly moribund berg.
Oh, and you know what else you get with legal pot that you never got from those dorm-room sellers or your friends with the scraggly plants? Receipts.