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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Supply problems limit pot store openings

Three stores in north Spokane are among the 25 applicants who will get the state’s first licenses to sell recreational marijuana, but only one will open Tuesday, the first day such sales will be legal.

The state Liquor Control Board this morning released its first list of store licenses it is issuing for communities around Washington. Three are in the Spokane area.

But only Spokane Green Leaf, 9107 N. Country Homes Blvd., expects to open, and one of the owners said they have not yet settled on a time. Because of supply problems that include a processor in the Seattle area cancelling over the weekend, it may be a “soft opening” on Tuesday, followed by a grand opening this weekend. . . 

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Two other licensees said they will be opening in the near future, but have not set a date.

Sam Calvert of Green Star Cannabis, 1403 N. Division St., said his business plan was always to open later in July or in August and he’s sticking with that plan. He’s looking at a range of dates, and will announce an opening soon.

Justin Wilson of Satori, 9301 N. Division St., said opening on Tuesday “would be amazing” but he thinks a more likely scenario would be to open next week because of supply problems. He’s been working with producers and processors who don’t have marijuana available yet, and is reaching out to other suppliers who may have been working with stores that didn’t receive a license in the first round.

“It’s up in the air right now,” said Wilson, whose recreational marijuana store is opening in a former fitness center next to Piece of Mind, a tobacco, pipe and accessories store he owns.

The name of the marijuana store is a Buddhist term that means sudden enlightenment, which Wilson said he thought was appropriate for the state’s people and its government finally waking up to the potential of the drug.

The stores can open 24 hours after a state-imposed quarantine, but receiving the license is not a guarantee of opening. The stores can only sell marijuana from state-licensed growers and processors, and that is reportedly in short supply. The marijuana must also be entered in a state-approved system that tracks the drug from the time it starts growing at the state-licensed farm until it sold at the store.

Because of the short supply and a series of taxes imposed on the drug by the law that legalized it for adults, the price of recreational marijuana is expected to be $20 per gram or more, about twice what it is at medical marijuana dispensaries which are largely unregulated and operate under a different set of laws.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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