It is hard to tell just how seriously to take the asking price from Eisenberg. His two shops are the highest grossing in Seattle with sales of nearly $1.4 million in December while the Main Street chain’s three locations clocked in with more than $2.2 million during the happy holiday period. But there also might be some politicking going on.
Eisenberg said he is concerned about legislative efforts this year in Olympia that might open up Washington’s pot industry to outside investment. Currently, there is a six-month residency requirement to hold a license and other encumberments preventing money from flowing in from outside the state.
“The prospect that the state is going to allow out of state investment is a big deal,” Eisenberg said. “The idea of opening it up to out of state investment is concerning.”
Uncle Ike’s opened as the second pot shop on Capitol Hill — mere feet from the first pot shop on Capitol Hill — in late 2016. In 2016, the stores generated a combined $15 million according to 502data.com. Of course, it handed about $5.5 million of that back to the state in the form of the heavy I-502 excise tax. Still, that’s a lot of cash. Oh, and full disclosure, Uncle Ike’s is a longtime CHS advertiser.
Eisenberg said that so far, nobody has called with an offer anywhere near the $50 million mark he and Main Street owner Ramsey Hamide are looking for. If the state opens up the restrictions, would they consider selling out to out-of-state investors?
“I’d rather not but if it becomes legal, sure,” Eisenberg said.
As for walking away from a nascent industry and the largest pot business in Seattle that literally has his (nick)name on it, the Central District entrepreneur seemed unconcerned.
“In two years, nobody will remember the trailblazers anyway.”