Ready to serve the Central District and Capitol Hill, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop set to open at 23rd and Union

10639712_790347977691561_1458183800514921383_n (1)Since early July, only one store has been able to tie together the permits, the building, and, most importantly, the product to sell legal retail marijuana to the people of Seattle. This week, the equation is about to change at 23rd and Union.

Land owner and entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg tells CHS that Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop pot shop has received its temporary license and is planning an opening in the Central District sometime in the next week — if all goes to plan.

“I haven’t slept in a month,” Eisenberg said of the sudden rush of activity around the venture.

The license puts Eisenberg on pace to operate only the second retail marijuana operation in the city and puts him behind the counter of the shop closest to the densely-packed population of Capitol Hill.

UPDATE 9/25/2014: Looks like Saturday is a go:

UPDATE x2: The opening menu from producer Avitas:

* Black 84
* Cinex
* Lemon Kush
* Pineberry
* Snoop’s Dream

UPDATE 9/24/2014: We asked the state how the liquor board is proceeding with retail licensing as the lottery process from this summer plays out. Here is an explanation from a liquor board spokesperson:

We continue to process retailer applications post lottery, starting with those ranked highest first. Lottery winners, for lack of a better term, still have to undergo the licensing process which includes, floor plan, security plan, financial investigation of everyone involved (including financiers), 1,000ft buffer check, criminal investigation (federal and state), traceability software compliance, and a final inspection where they demonstrate that what they have indicated on paper actually exists in a physical form. After completion of all that they still need to pay for their license ($1000) before they can receive it and open up shop. If an applicant fails the process then we move to the next entity on the list. Last week we sent out approx. 57 letters to lottery winners who had placed their applications on hold telling them they have 60  days to proceed with the process or we will move to the next on the list.

The shop will reside in a newly constructed, highly secure storefront built by Eisenberg behind the former Med Mix restaurant at the northeast corner of 23rd and Union. Med Mix was damaged in a summer 2013 arson fire and its owner decided not to rebuild. The restaurant building has now been transformed into a separate retail space and will be home to Uncle Ike’s Glass & Goods where the venture will sell pipes, bongs, papers, and various marijuana-related paraphernalia.

The menu across the parking lot of the mini-marijuana campus is a work in progress, Eisenberg said. At one point last week, Eisenberg said he had a producer lined up to supply the store with its opening day stock but that fell through during the wait for the temporary license. With paperwork in hand, Uncle Ike’s is working to connect with licensed producers to make sure the counters are stocked for a “quiet” opening. It’s possible the plan comes together Saturday.

You can check out uncleikespotshop.com to find out when the store is open and what is on the menu. Eisenberg said he plans for Uncle Ike’s to sell marijuana in flower format and also offer edibles, concentrates and other legal variations. Shoppers can buy up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form, or 72 ounces in liquid form.

Eisenberg said his shop is mostly ready for what will likely be long lines and lots of attention on the new store. “We have security lined up,” Eisenberg said. “We have had a port-o-potty forever waiting for this.”

Planned hours will be from 10 AM to 11 PM once the supply end of things is settled.

Cannabis City, the SoDo shop that was the state’s first to open under I-502, opened with 10 pounds of retail pot on July 8th and quickly sold out before temporarily closing while the shop worked to bring in more weed. If Cannabis City’s pricing is any indication, expect to shell out around $20 a gram for marijuana at Uncle Ike’s.

Another retail pot venture near 23rd and Union can still move forward even with the Uncle Ike’s opening. Mello Times was a winner in the state’s lottery for the first round of I-502 retail permits but owner John Branch told CHS in July that his plan to open a store on 24th Ave might not come to fruition until later in the summer. With summer come and gone, we’ll have to check in with Branch to find out what his plans are.

The Uncle Ike’s announcement marks the second pot-related venture for Hill-area entrepreneurs. Earlier this week, CHS reported on Pike/Pine restaurant and bar owner Dave Meinert’s new role with marijuana logistics start-up Torch Northwest.

We first talked with Eisenberg about his interest in opening a marijuana retail shop in 2013 as the rules around the implementation of I-502 were being worked out and 23rd and Union emerged as a likely home for future pot-related ventures. Despite criticism and concerns based in the corner’s past challenges with illegal drugs and street crime, Eisenberg believes retail marijuana could be a boon for the neighborhood as it has slowly joined Seattle’s development growth despite changes like the downsizing of the neighborhood’s post office.

“What I say to my neighbors is this: Let’s say we bring in 300 to 400 customers that weren’t here before,” Eisenberg said. “That’s such an opportunity. We have plywood going up today over the post office.”

Uncle Ike’s is located at 2310 E Union. You can learn more at uncleikespotshop.com.

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58 thoughts on “Ready to serve the Central District and Capitol Hill, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop set to open at 23rd and Union

  1. “Let’s say we bring in 300 to 400 customers that weren’t here before”
    Yeah, tell that to MedMix after you jacked up the rent so high they didn’t renew their lease. I’m sure those 300 to 400 customers will really appreciate your dozen or so parking spaces, too.

    • Do you have reading comprehensive problems Jim or are you simply an anti-semite? Just in case you were uncertain, an arson doesn’t invalidate a lease. Eisenberg couldn’t have just “jacked up the rent”.

    • Check your facts, Jim. Medmix was a victim of arson and didn’t keep his insurance up to date. It was a mix of bad luck and bad management that closed Medmix, not rising rents. Too bad a lie like yours will make the rounds faster than the truth.

  2. I expected that concrete building was going to become a pot shop, and that is ok. However, I am extremely disappointed at the conversion of a decent, store-front restaurant location into a marijuana paraphernalia store. That is not going to bring more folks to the CD or enhance the community in any way. It is really too bad about the loss of the MedMix — it was a definite positive on that corner.

      • The former MedMix building is going to be the Uncle Ike’s paraphernalia shop. The actual marijuana will be in that new side building, but all the bongs, pipes, vaping equipment will be sold out of what used to be a great restaurant.

    • Sorry, cd_neighbor, but MedMix is long gone, and was never coming back after the arson anyway. Word on the street was that the food wasn’t all that great to begin with – and certainly confirmed on the couple of occasions I gave it a try. And FWIW, I’d rather have a good, old-fashioned head shop anchoring the corner than a perpetually boarded up eyesore.

  3. Considering the crime and loiterers on that corner I’d imagine there are going to be a lot of people robbed of their pot as soon as they step out the door. Hope you’re hiring outdoor security.

    • Yeah but Neighbor Lady seems to be doing ok on that corner for awhile now, and there’s been more crime on Cap Hill lately than around 23rd and Union.

    • Del, do you actually LIVE anywhere in the vicinity of 23rd & E. Union? I’ve been here for a good 10 years, and I can say with some assurance that between the temporary SPD satellite office that set up here a few years back (no longer open), the replacement of Thompson’s with The Neighbor Lady, and the newer development just up the hill, crime has been way down for quite a few years, , And if the liquor store across the street isn’t having a constant problem with people being robbed of their booze as they step out of the door, why would you think it would be any different with cannibis?

      Get a grip, and save the NIMBY-esque hyperventilating for something REALLY important, like skyrocketing home values/property taxes driving long-time residents out of the area.

  4. Eisenberg owns the entire corner lot. I’m sure he had some ‘influence’ on MedMix not rebuilding and renewing their lease on his property, as that would get in the way of his venture. A “mini-marijuana campus” on 23rd and Union is not going to enhance the community. While having a port-o-potty for the crowds and security for potential problems might be considered good planning, I think it’s more indicative of the issues this corner is going to bring to the neighborhood. The block south of Uncle Ike’s corner is already a disaster, with numerous loiterers, smoking and drinking, in that parking lot.

  5. Uncle Ike’s- looks sharp. And maybe a clever business plan. You can advertise at the bong-shop but ads are restricted on the actual marijuana shop. Wonder how Eisenberg negotiated for the golden ticket?

    I like the name. Can’t say I have a very positive association with “Bong Shops” though- I’ll try to reserve judgement until I can see the place- maybe it’ll be slick- lots of vaporizers and cedar air fresheners. Regardless, it sounds like “Uncle Ike’s” is making a very serious play for a large piece of the Seattle Pot market. If it works, Ike’s could be a Seattle fixture- the next Dick’s.

    Good luck with your venture Ian!

  6. I’m all for capitalism but let’s get real, how is this “good for the neighborhood”? It’s going to make a crime ridden corner more crime ridden. Btw, what are the plans for “On 15th Video” space? I thought that corner was also legally eligible for a legal pot shop.

      • Well, that’s probably a big factor for a lot of people, in addition to having some assurance of the quality & potency of what they’re purchasing, plus the convenience of not having to wait around for hours on the whim of some sketchy dealer, as well as feeling confident one isn’t contributing money to some bottom-feeding drug cartel. And frankly, knowing that a good chunk of the cost is going to support state services is probably also an incentive for some of the more civic-minded among the smoking populace.

        After all, people pay for the “convenience” of being served food-and-drink they didn’t have to cook, brew or ferment themselves. They pay more for clothing they don’t have to make, or food they don’t have to grow, or all manner of goods and services they don’t have to provide for themselves, and nobody even questions the concept that people will do this. Why would it be any different with cannabis – just because it’s cheaper on the black market? Many otherwise law-abiding citizens would probably prefer to not deal with that at all – and if it costs more to NOT do so, they may consider it worth the extra expense nonetheless.

  7. What do we know about various crimes following the opening of the 4th South pot shop? Granted, that location has more paint stores than homes or apartments, but it would be interesting to hear if robberies/burglaries are up there or not.

    The parking lot south of Union is a problem and I think SPD will have their hands full sorting out both legal and illegal pot in the area. My guess is that they will increase enforcement, when it comes to public smoking there and elsewhere, but who knows. I’m more curious about security within the shop itself. It seems like a target for various sorts of break-ins and robberies, but again, who knows….

    • They better not have such trouble. Enforcement of pot law in Seattle is, by law, SPD staff’s lowest priority. And, as they frequently tell us, they’re underfunded and understaffed. They have no time to investigate adults for cannabis-related violations without prioritizing it above other duties, thereby breaking the law themselves.

    • Shouldn’t be a problem at all. I’m pretty sure even SPD can tell the difference between a gram of cannabis inside a sealed-with-a-state-tax-stamp container showing THC values, versus a gram inside a featureless Ziplock baggie. Plus, I’m guessing the stores give you a receipt, so really, only the slowest of the slow wouldn’t be able to figure out which was a legal purchase and which wasn’t.

      • What are you even talking about ? Showing the cops a receipt for your weed ? It is legal to possess. You can put it in any kind of bag you want ! And recycle the receipt too !
        On a related you are really getting ripped off if you are paying $26/gram. Just sayin’.

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  9. Wow, seems many of the people making comments can see the future. ” It’s going to make a crime ridden corner more crime ridden.” “are going to be a lot of people robbed of their pot as soon as they step out the door.” If your power to see the future is so great, buy stocks, lottery tickets, get rich and move somewhere more “Starbucksy” Quit making up problems where there are none. Save your bitching for actual problems. With a pot store comes a ton of security. Haven’t you noticed all the new cameras around those buildings? Give them a chance to do the right thing before passing judgement. Sheesh!

  10. Let’s get one thing straight. Pot does not equal crime. I get how you might think that’s true because of its history, but that was when it was an illegal drug. Legal pot is expensive and almost exclusively for yuppies.

    Between this lot having business again, the mixed-use apartments going up across the corner, and the development work about to start on the old post office and halal cafe a block away, 23rd and Union is soon going to become a very gentrified area.

    • Yep. Many people might say the same thing about taverns. I won’t go so far as to say “yuppies” but Chuck’s, a few blocks up Union, is packed to the gills with expensive-beer-drinking customers from open to close. I don’t live in the immediate neighborhood (more like 10 blocks away) but its influence sure seems likely to be a net positive.

      I haven’t made it down to the place in SoDo (do they have stock again?) but I’m looking forward to Ike’s opening. The head shop, as well.

    • Actually, pot does equal crime if you consider all of the people openly, and very rudely, smoking it in public. The last time I checked, smoking in public was not approved by voters in the Initiative that was passed. It would be great to see the SPD actually do their job and appropriately ticket those who violate the law. I’m not talking about writing tickets in the manner of the stupid renegade cop who was trying to prove a point by randomly ticketing people downtown. The police need to give a written warning to public pot smokers. If they get caught a second time, they deserve a ticket.

      23rd and Union is already teeming with pot smokers. When I walk by on my way to and from work every day, it just reeks. One of the things all of the pot customers likely won’t stop to think about is that there are people who are stuck living around 23rd and Union. A head shop and a bunch of loitering stoners isn’t going to add to their quality of life.

      • For now, I don’t see any residential units at 23 & Union. And, I don’t think anyone is really “stuck” in the CD. It’s become one of the more pricey neighborhoods in Seattle. Change is constant. If things are moving too fast for you here. You can move to one of the more soccer mom in yoga pants neighborhood in Seattle and probably pay less rent. As a resident of the Central District for more than 20 years I see any new business on this long abandoned block a big plus.

      • I walk this block every day and have yet to see these “teaming” pot smoker. I am more bothered by the cigarette smokers and their shitty cigarette butts left everywhere. (And, by everywhere I mean the entire world). As far as quality of life goes, maybe you should try some weed. That may help you.

      • Unless there is absolutely nothing else going on, SPD staff would have to violate the law in order to issue such warnings or citations. That is–by way of public initiative passed overwhelmingly a decade ago–their lowest enforcement priority.

      • But making it the “lowest priority” is toothless. It doesn’t prevent them from doing it. There’s always been plenty of wiggle room for them to work around it.

      • Jim, there’s plenty of wiggle room in homicide laws, as well. Ian Birk murdered John T. Williams and was never punished for it. That doesn’t mean we should accept failure by the police to comply with the stated will of the people.

      • Phil, that law was passed years ago and didn’t it apply just to those buying pot illegally and/or for possession. Now that pot is legal, doesn’t this old law become moot? The legalization initiative last year specifies that pot cannot be smoked in public and that citations can be given, so isn’t this the law which is now in effect?

      • The law in Seattle since passage of I-75 in September of 2013 has been that “Seattle Police Department and City Attorney’s Office shall make the investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses, when the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the City’s lowest law enforcement priority.”

        That has not changed. It remains unlawful to consume marijuana in public, but we have limited law enforcement resources, and the people clearly instructed our staff to prioritize this below everything else they do. There are jaywalkers and unlicensed pets out there, you know. And what’s the auto theft clearance rate? Mobile phone robberies in the Pike-Pine area?

        It’s toothless, for sure. What am I to do when I find the police violating the law? Call them and have them investigate themselves? Such toothlessness of laws constraining police is not unique.

        In my opinion, when our police have time to work on their lowest priority, it’s time for us to think about decreasing their budget and putting our tax dollars toward more important matters. Given that Mayor Murray is calling for an increase in SPD’s budget, I’d say it’s clear that they do not have sufficient resources to lawfully enforce the marijuana laws for adults in Seattle. They do it anyway, in direct defiance of the will of the people.

      • I suppose the police officers COULD issue citations. But in the city of Seattle, it would be pretty pointless for them to do so. Just a month or two ago, a police officer got remove from his patrol for writing too many pot citations, and the city attorney earlier this week is dismissing around 100 pot citations written.

        http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/09/seattle-city-attorney-will-seek-dismissal-of-100-pot-citations/

        Seattle doesn’t mess around when they say that they do not want police efforts spent on marijuana.

      • “Lowest Priority” does not mean that pot laws should go totally unenforced. If a police officer is on foot patrol, and is not being called to another higher priority crime, then a citation should be written. The word will get out and will discourage others from violating the law. Otherwise, the “no smoking in public” part of legalization will be blatantly ignored.

      • Writing a citation takes time. Every minute spent on that is a minute that the people have, in no uncertain terms, told the police that they should instead spend on absolutely anything else law-enforcement related. There is always something of higher priority to which they should attend.

        The ban on smoking pot in public should be ignored. It’s a bone-headed law that accomplishes little besides giving police “a tool” they can use to do things we wouldn’t otherwise allow them to do, and we simply lack the resources to enforce it, given priorities and finite budget.

        I strongly believe that the primary reason we have such a law on the books is that it was deemed necessary in order to keep the feds out of our business of ending cannabis prohibition from the grassroots up. I knew when it was passed that the police couldn’t, as a practical matter, enforce it without violating the will of the people expressed by passing I-75. Pete Holmes probably did, as well.

  11. If crime in and around pot shops is not going to be a problem, why are the businesses having to invest in massive amounts of “security.”?

  12. I can’t believe the Liquor Board fell for this one. With the bad history of this corner, it looks like trouble coming on like a speeding train.

  13. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BUSINESS FOR THE HIGHLANDS OFF 145TH AND AURORA, BROADMOOR, MADISON PARK, SEWARD PARK ETC, WHERE PEOPLE CAN AFFORD FOR THEIR MONEY TO “GO UP IN SMOKE”???. AS FAR AS A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE ON 23RD AND UNION??? ONLY A COMMUNITY OUTSIDER, DESTROYER, “WANNA BE GENTRIFIER / EHTNIC CLEANSER LIKE IAN OR A “CIRCUS CLOWN” WOULD ATTEMPT TO ADD TO THE MURDER COUNT ON THIS BLOCK CURRENTLY AT 6 (LARRY WARD 1970, CHICAGO NATIVE 1990s (IN FRONT OF HELEN’S / TOMPSON’S VIEW POINT / NEIGHBOR LADIES, BOTH OWNERS OF FORMER BUSINESS BEFORE MED MIX (ARSON FIRE ENDING) ONE OWNER MURDERED INSIDE BUILDING THE OTHER NEAR BY (1990s), AARON ROBERTS (2001), AND KEVIN BROWN (2014),
    WOW WHAT HISTORY NOT INCLUDING THE “FERGUSON STYLE” RIOTING ON THIS CORNER (1968, 1969) AND FORMER MAYOR PAUL SHELL’S ACCIDENT (2001)??? TWO SAYINGS APPLY, ONE “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT” AND TWO, “THOSE THAT DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE BOUND TO REPEAT IT”. 23RD AND UNION HAS BEEN / IS THE CENTER OF AFRICATOWN / CD SINCE THE 1950s. HOW WOULD I KNOW??? BEEN LIVING WITH IN 15 BLOCKS OF 23RD AND UNION SINCE 1946 INCLUDING DIRECTLY BEHIND POST OFFICE ON 24TH. PLEASE RESEARCH AND THEN FILE LAWSUIT AS TO HOW IAN ENDED UP WITH “WEED AND SEED” STORE WITH OUT WINING “WEED LOTTERY’???? STAY TUNED THE BATTLE IS AT THE STARTING LINE BUT THE END IS VERY EASY TO SEE??? NO ONE BUT A FOOL WOULD BE FORE A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE TO ADD TO THE CONFLICT ON UNION?? TEAR DOWN THE “WEED STORE” NOT LIBERTY BANK??????? “IT TAKES A VILLAGE (AFRICATOWN AND CHINATOWN) TO RAISE A CHILD”. SEE YOU ON THE CORNER OF 23RD AND UNION DAILY. Omari Tahir, FOUNDER / PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN SUPPORTER.

  14. BY THE WAY DON’T FORGET TO CONTACT THE MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL PEOPLE AND YOUR LAWYER ABOUT THIS ASININE IDEA TO PUT A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE ON 23RD AND UNION WHILE POLITICIANS WALK THE STREETS AGAINST CRIME AND WASTE MORE TAX DOLLAR$$$$$ HIRING 100 MORE UPRODUCTIVE TAX DRAINING ANGRY AND VIOLENT GOVERNMENT STREET AGENTS WITH GUNS AND BADGES WITH LITTLE EDUCATION (MEDICAL DOCTOR WITH OPERATING KNIFE AND ONLY HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA)??? WHAT ABOUT HIRING 100 MORE TEACHERS FOR MADRONA, LESHI, STEVENS, WASHINGTON, MEANY, GARFIELD ECT WITH COLLEGE DEGREES (MASTERS AND PHDs FOR CHEAPER PRICE??? Omari Tahir

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