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
* Lemon Kush
* 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.