SEATTLE — More than a year and a half after Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana sales with Initiative 502, retail pot shops around the state are finally set to sell some bud.
But while 25 stores hope to open sometime this week, a bevy of questions still remain:
Will there be enough weed to go around? How much will the chronic cost? Can I bring my child into the weed shop with me, even if they aren’t old enough to buy?
Many of these questions will be answered in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we have a handy set of answers to the most pressing questions, and a standby guide of things you need to know for tomorrow, the first day we will be able to legally buy pot in this smoky, hazy new reality.
Top 5 Things you need to know about buying pot tomorrow
1. 24 pot shops are set to open this week, but their locations, opening times and stockpiles of goods will vary widely
— Twenty-five retail stores were licensed by the state Liquor Control Board early Monday morning, meaning they can start selling pot as early as 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Not all shops licensed Monday will open Tuesday, and the locations of the licensed stores vary widely. Only one store in the Seattle will open Tuesday. However, lesser populated towns like Spokane will open three, Tacoma will open two and Vancouver will open two.
The two pot stores slated to open in King County this week are:
- Cannabis City in Sodo, 2733 4th Ave. South
- Green Theory in Bellevue, 10697 Main Street
For a complete list of stores permitted to open this week, check out the map below.
2. It’s probably cheaper to buy from the black market, at least for now
— According to the Price of Weed, an ounce of medium quality ganja costs around $200 on the black market. But the cost in stores, at least initially, will be around $400. A gram of pot will run between $15 and $20 Tuesday, with a 9 percent sales tax tacked on at the back end. That would make 1/8 (3.5 grams) of pot on the black market — which usually runs about $40 — as cheap as 2 grams of pot in stores.
Prices are expected to come down as supply increases, though. In Colorado, Seattle Times reporters were able to pick up 1/8 of pot at a retail shop for $35. Colorado prices came down as more retailers sprouted up and competition increased. Seattle Times reporters predict the black market for pot in the state will be eradicated within 3 years.
3. Seattleite trying to score some pot after you get out of work tomorrow? Good luck.
— Those trying to buy pot after they get out of work tomorrow will probably have a tough time, at least around Seattle. Cannabis City, the only retailer opening in Seattle, has 10 pounds of pot for sell. Even if each customer only bought 2 grams, there’s only enough pot for around 2,200 buyers. That’s a number that will likely be greatly surpassed in the first day of legalization excitement, and maybe even by the time the throngs leave work at 5 p.m.
Those looking to buy after work may be better off heading to Tacoma where two stores, Creative Retail Management and Space, are slated to open.
4. Even with limited supply, store “Budtenders” might be able to help you choose a pot right for you
— Like any liquor store, a buyer will be able to go into a retail shop and ask the clerk which pot variety fits their needs and taste.
However, like liquor stores, this is not an exact science, and clerks’ opinions and suggestions could vary widely. All should be willing to help you find the right high though, with suggestions based on the amount of THC and CDB in the pot. Other affects will be determined by the amount of Sativa and Indica in the plant.
The Seattle Times said some stores will even have sommellier-like experts to help buyers. One store in Prosser, Washington will feature “cannabis coaches” to greet people and help determine which kind of pot is right for them.
5. So you’ve bought a bag. Now what?
— Head home, grab a snack and turn on “Half-Baked.” Or play bridge with your partner. Or head to the local basketball court and shoot some hoops. Whatever you want to do to celebrate. But remember, while pot is now legal to smoke in your home, these activities and goods still remain ILLEGAL IN WASHINGTON —
- Driving a car while stoned. The legal limit is 5 nanograms of THC per mililiter of blood
- Smoking weed in public
- Consuming pot if you’re under 21
- If you’re company does not allow pot, you can still be tested and lose your job. It’s up to company policy.
- Purchasing edibles and concentrates. The liquor control board is still hammering down the particulars of edibles and concentrates, and they won’t be for sale for at least two months.
- Selling pot without a license
- If you rent, landlords can still ban smoking on the property. Check with your lease and landlord before you light up in the house.
Now have fun! And check out this amazingly comprehensive piece from the Seattle Times if you have more questions about tomorrow.