Uncle Ike’s is for sale. Kind of.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

“Everybody keeps bugging us, so we decided to throw out a number,” owner Ian Eisenberg told CHS Tuesday about a report that he is teaming up to put the two largest marijuana retailers in the state on the market. The price tag for a combined Uncle Ike’s-Main Street Marijuana Washington pot empire stretching from Seattle to the ‘Couv?

$50 million.

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.”

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23 thoughts on “Uncle Ike’s is for sale. Kind of.

  1. The problem with marijuana investment is that the industry is still a federal crime. There is a new President in three days. The Trump administration could very well shut down every shop and arrest all involved. Until this is resolved, any investment in this industry is a huge risk.

  2. Impaired driving is up, people of color I know with kids don’t want anything to do with this, only 52% voted for it, and 23rd and Union is once again a drug corner after all the efforts to clean it up, People loiter at the bus stops panhandling for money for pot. Not everything that is a darling of the prevailing political climate here contributes positively to the community. And tax income for the state is still just drug money.

    • This is wrong. Across all states with legalized marijuana, traffic accidents have decreased an average of 11%. States with legal/medical marijuana have also seen a drastic drop on opioid overdoses. Legalization does demonstrable good for public health. Not to mention the huge tax income for States that choose to join the 21st century.

      These facts will probably make no fucking impression on you. But maybe you should stop being such a fucking bummer, dude.

    • hmmm I went to a summit for African Americans and there was a guy there whose business is helping African Americans get into the pot business, not sure what you are talking about, but mmmm-okay.

    • In Paul’s defense, sometimes people only comment about what riles them up. You see that in customer service – people happy with the service rarely make an effort to state that while those unhappy with the service are vocal. I’d hate to stifle Paul on that habit alone.

      And 23rd and Union isn’t the hill! :)

  3. I hope that if they do sell, it will be written into the contract that Angel’s Shoe Repair can remain at the location on 15th.

  4. This is a commodity business. When is the city going to give out more permits? More competition will negatively effect these businesses since they all sell the same thing. No one would pay anything close to that number but I understand why he’s throwing it out there just to see who has more money than brains.

    • I’ve wondered the same about the permitting. I’m all for legalization and the tax revenue it brings. The more the merrier. I do wish Ian would be a better neighbor and get rid of things like that sign that “Hey stoner!” sign.

  5. Agreed, I have been generally ok with their presence in the neighborhood but am about a year away from having to explain the stoner sign to my daughter.

    I don’t see the liquor store across the street posting hey drunk over here.

    • You can explain that it’s a sign advertising a local business for adult consumers, like the red sign above the liquor store.

      I don’t like the Ike sign design very much either, but it is just a sign for a store.

    • I agree about that obnoxious sign, and I also abhor the newspaper/magazine ads that refer in large-font type to “getting high.” You don’t see liquor ads touting how drunk you can get on the product.

      I voted for I-502, I know cannabis is medically and therapeutically useful in many ways, and I absolutely do not want anyone arrested (or even cited) for pot possession or use. But some sensible controls on advertising, similar to those on cigarettes and booze, are definitely needed.

    • Cool, glad to help. Parenting is tough.

      Also, don’t forget to explain that “Hop Shop” means adult beer store and the neon X-bottle sign at Neighbor Lady means booze/bar.

      You have a lot of ‘splainin to do. Kids are so curious about the world.

      You can probably explain the “Glass and Goods” sign without my help?

    • I think we all grew up on cartoons made as far back as the 30’s and 40’s which showed cartoon characters wasted and drunk all the time, and it didn’t turn us all into little raving drunklettes. Give your kids some credit, they’re not that stupid. Especially if you’re honest with them.

  6. The ONLY reason the growers over by Spokane got busted was because one of them had a weapon on site.The Feds do not care about pot.They have also said they wont bother Mayor Murray’s “safe drug use sites”