I-502 permit holder hopes to open Capitol Hill’s first pot shop in February

If all goes according to plan, Capitol Hill will have its first retail marijuana shop this February. But that’s a big “if” for shop owner hopeful Samuel Burke.

After failing to get the city’s approval in three Belltown locations, Burke is cautiously awaiting the city’s response to his proposed location at 15th Ave E and E Republican, currently home the the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic. According to state law, a retail marijuana shop must keep a 1,000-foot buffer from schools, parks, or community centers.

“Each time the city objected and we couldn’t over come it,” Burke told CHS of his previous three proposals. “It’s just such a privilege to think I could locate on Capitol Hill.”

Right now, things are looking good for Burke. Continue reading

I-502 lottery winner makes new plans to open pot shop on Capitol Hill

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The possible location of Capitol Hill’s first pot shop. (Photo: CHS)

An I-502 lottery winner is setting his sights on a 15th Ave E and E Republican location to open Capitol Hill’s first retail marijuana shop.

According to the state liquor board, Samuel Burke has submitted an application for a retail marijuana permit for the space currently occupied by the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic.

The application lists the same trade name Burke used to enter the I-502 lottery at the 15th Ave E location. In July, Burke told the Seattle Times that he settled on an unspecified location for his shop after hitting snags in two other places.

CHS tried to contact Burke, but the phone number listed on his I-502 application has been disconnected. Continue reading

Central Seattle’s I-502 pot shop turns in a $trong October

With one court win under its belt and the current legal fight shifting to sort out the latest attempt to shut the shop prior to the holidays, 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s seems to also be doing alright on the business end of things.

The state’s records show the store, which opened on the last day of September, had a great October. Liquor control board records, in fact, rank Uncle Ike’s as the third highest grossing I-502 retail shop in the state last month:

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One caveat on the numbers — our friends at highaboveseattle.com are working on what happened to the totals of New Vansterdam in Vancouver which was raking in more than $20,000 per day earlier this year. Even when that is cleared up, Uncle Ike’s is probably still in the top four.

At more than $15,000 per day in marijuana sales, Ike’s, a CHS advertiser, has kept up the pace CHS reported after its first week of business — and then some. 23rd and Union’s gains could be losses for other areas of the city, however. High Above Seattle notes that co-owner KC Franks also was awarded I-502 licenses for other parts of the city and, with the success of Ike’s, may be less likely to pursue opening additional stores.

Uncle Ike’s wins one battle — bigger court fight to come

(Image: Uncle Ike's)

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

Central District pot shop Uncle Ike’s has scored a small victory in the court battle to close the I-502 retailer. Friday, a King County Superior Court judge denied an attempt to shutter the 23rd and Union business until the legal battle brought by neighboring Mount Calvary Christian Center is decided.

A temporary restraining order would have been costly for Ike’s — CHS reported that the only pot shop serving Central Seattle has churned out nearly $14,000 in sales per day.

Following the decision, Ike’s, a CHS advertiser, can continue to do business as the legal proceedings play out. The first hearing is slated for next week.

CHS first reported here on the Mount Calvary lawsuit against Ike’s ownership, the state and the City of Seattle. The church is calling for a closure of the marijuana store as it claims the store should have never been permitted because of its close proximity to a teen center the church operates across the street and other facilities like a parklet nearby at 25th and Union.

Capitol Hill pot publisher covering the business of Seattle’s retail pot economy

10336788_301921989965574_8598761731603846361_nWhile there might not be any I-502 pot shops on Capitol Hill proper that doesn’t mean marijuana-related businesses aren’t cropping up around the Hill. One man is even crazy enough to try to make it in the media business! John Tommervik created High Above Seattle to review bud and rate the new stores opening around the city. It launched in March. You can check it out at highaboveseattle.com.

“I looked at applying for marijuana license and all these different things and I just realized that where I would be best at because of being a creative director and a marketer and all that is to develop a website that just focuses on the local Seattle marijuana industry and just cover it,” said Tommervik who runs the site from Capitol Hill and lives in the neighborhood.

He says his home neighborhood is a big influence on HAS and the growing marijuana industry in Seattle. Continue reading

Church sues to shut down marijuana shop at 23rd/Union, change way Seattle zones pot

Pastor Witherspoon assists Mt Zion's Reverend Samuel B. McKinney with the bullhorn at a rally against Uncle Ike's in October (Image: CHS)

Pastor Witherspoon assists Mt Zion’s Reverend Samuel B. McKinney with the bullhorn at a rally against Uncle Ike’s in October (Image: CHS)

Opening weekend at Uncle Ike's (Image: CHS)

Opening weekend at Uncle Ike’s (Image: CHS)

The Central District church that turned to prayer and protest when it suddenly found itself neighboring Seattle’s second I-502 marijuana retailer is taking its case to close Uncle Ike’s to an even higher power — King County Superior Court.

The Seattle Times reports that Mount Calvary Christian Center is suing to shut Uncle Ike’s down:

The suit alleges that Uncle Ike’s was allowed to open despite being about 250 feet from a teen recreation center. It says the city and state did not perform due diligence in allowing Uncle Ike’s to open.

The church and community center ask the court to revoke Uncle Ike’s license and direct the city of Seattle to set up measures that would require it to let communities weigh in before potential marijuana stores are approved.

The Times reports Mount Calvary’s Pastor Reggie Witherspoon told the paper that Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg needs to take the “community’s concerns” more seriously.

Ike’s, the WSLCB and the City of Seattle are all reportedly named in the lawsuit which has not yet been filed. Continue reading

Central Seattle’s only pot store, Uncle Ike’s sold $13,736 of marijuana per day in first week

The staff at Ian Eisenberg's pot and car wash emporium (Image: Uncle Ike's)

The staff at Ian Eisenberg’s pot and car wash emporium (Image: Uncle Ike’s)

Source: WSLCB

Source: WSLCB

Anybody who thinks Washington’s I-502 pot business is fun and games better just mellow out. CHS has obtained records from the state that document the first week of sales at Uncle Ike’s, the first I-502 retailer to operate in Central Seattle within wafting distance of Capitol Hill. The totals are impressive.

According to the state liquor board, the 23rd and Union pot shop started things off with a bang, netting nearly $17,000 in marijuana sales on its September 30th launch day. The rest of the week didn’t fade generating an average take of $13,736 per day. Continue reading

Should state turn over I-502 pot zoning to the Seattle City Council?

Mount Calvary Christian Center prayed, rallied and waved signs Sunday at 23rd and Union (Image: CHS)

Mount Calvary Christian Center prayed, rallied and waved signs Sunday at 23rd and Union (Image: CHS)

Sumedha Majumdar — CHS Fall 2014 Intern contributed to this report.

As protest continues in the Central District over a retail marijuana shop opening next to a church, community members and city officials are asking for a review of how pot shops are located in Seattle. Is it already time for lawmakers to start making changes to the state’s young recreational marijuana law?

In August, CHS spoke with I-502 author Alison Holcomb about how the law was progressing. At the time, we discussed the possibility of giving local officials authority to approve the locations of I-502 stores, rather than the state liquor board. Couldn’t Seattle’s City Council approve the location of 21 retail marijuana shop locations under its own rules?

“Politically it’s a lot cleaner,” Holcomb said this summer. “That makes a lot of sense to me.” Continue reading

‘Shut it down’ — Rally, prayer against I-502 marijuana shop Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union

Pastor Reggie C. Witherspoon, Sr. asked the crowd for help continuing the protest in coming days (Images: CHS)

Pastor Reggie C. Witherspoon, Sr. asked the crowd for help continuing the protest in coming days (Images: CHS)

IMG_570223rd Ave’s Mount Calvary Christian Center and its Pastor Reggie Witherspoon lead a sea of support Sunday afternoon shutting down the street in front of its newly opened neighbor — I-502 marijuana store Uncle Ike’s.

“We gotta have a strategy,” Pastor Witherspoon shouted through a bullhorn to the assembled group of Sunday worshippers and protesters who gathered in the street on 23rd Ave just north of the intersection. “We’re going to be working with the legislature. We’re going to be doing all the legal things we have to do. A rally alone may not be the answer. They got to change this law.”

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Continue reading

More pot coming to E Union?

From the real estate listing for the site: "NC2P-40 zoned 40x120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!"

From the real estate listing for the site: “NC2P-40 zoned 40×120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!”

Uncle Ike’s might soon have company. In the same week the 23rd and Union store became home to only the second retail marijuana shop operating in Seattle, CHS has learned that the I-502 lottery winner for a license to operate in the Central District has purchased a nearby property.

Mello Times owner John Branch has secured an E Union-facing storefront just down the Hill from Uncle Ike’s. According to King County records, Branch bought the 4,800 square-foot property in the 2400 block of E Union this week for $590,000. Continue reading

Seattle’s second I-502 retailer, Uncle Ike’s opens Tuesday — UPDATE

IMG_8324IMG_8318UPDATE 9/30/2014: At noon around 20 people were waiting in line at 23rd and Union when a man poked his head outside Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop and yelled “we’re open!”

The line was not nearly as long and didn’t start nearly as early as when the first I-502 stores first opened in July, but it was a ceremonious afternoon nonetheless as Seattle’s second pot shop “officially” opened in the heart of the Central District.

Ryan Elbrecht, 35, was vacationing in Seattle from Florida when a friend dared him to be the first in line for Uncle Ike’s grand opening. Elbrecht said he got in line at 9 PM Monday night with a backpack full of beer and a goose-shaped pillow.

“It’s just cool to walk into a shop and buy weed. You go to prison for that where I’m from and we’re in the same country,” he said.

Elbrecht said the experience was so good he’s going to make Seattle his new home. A construction worker by trade, Elbrecht said he doesn’t think he’ll have any problems finding a job in the area. “There are cranes everywhere around here,” he said.

Ryan Elbrecht, 35,

Ryan Elbrecht, 35, at the front of the line for Uncle Ike’s grand opening (Photo: CHS)

One man waiting online with his husband said he worked for the Department of Defense while his spouse worked for the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s not appropriate for me to be here, but I don’t care,” he said. Both men asked to remain anonymous.

Prices at the store were high, but appeared to be in line with Washington’s other I-502 shops: $26 for a gram and $44 for a package of edibles. Sales seemed to go off without a hitch, aside from a few customers who were turned away for not having an ID.

Following a successful soft launch to test out the state’s I-502 computer system and work out any kinks in being only the second legal marijuana retailer in Seattle, Uncle Ike’s was ready for its “official” opening.

CHS broke the news last week on the two-building Central District mini cannabis campus moving forward with its business venture after state inspectors approved it as only the second I-502 retail license in Seattle.

Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg tells CHS that the shop will begin serving customers at noon Tuesday with plans to remain open until 7 PM — or until its $26/gram pot runs out. “We have flower and joints from Avitas and Monkey Grass Farms, a nice selection of edibles and RIF oil cartridges from Green Chief, and we expect to have JuJu Joints as well,” Ike’s posted in a Facebook update. Continue reading

Pike/Pine nightlife entrepreneur Meinert lights up I-502 marijuana venture Torch Northwest

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

10645080_361068550711664_307403192876139037_nOnly one I-502 marijuana retailer has been able to open to serve the 650,000 or so residents of Seattle — and the closest licensed shop to Capitol Hill is still nowhere close to opening. But there are still a few potrepreneurs in our midst and, possibly, a few pot jobs to be had.

Dave Meinert, a partner in several Pike/Pine concerns and a leader in the city’s nightlife scene who has taken on a more active civic presence after his heavy involvement in the minimum wage negotiations, tells CHS he is part of a new start-up seeking to address the challenges of processing, distribution, and packaging for the state’s growing ranks of marijuana growers.

“It’s hard to start a new industry,” Meinert said. “I’m excited to be part of it. If I would have been around when they were making whiskey legal, I would have been in on it.” Continue reading

Forget Metro cutbacks, Seattle now has a Weed Bus that lets you smoke weed. On the bus. — UPDATE: Olympia says nope

photo (1)The Weed Bus Club, a party bus turned stoner’s paradise, has been out and about in Seattle this summer. Perhaps you smelled the bus when it stopped by Capitol Hill Block Party.

William Prigmore’s club provides what he says is a safe space for people to tour Seattle — while smoking weed.

“You can hop on the Weed Bus by yourself,” says Prigmore, “a lot of different people are always on the bus. I think that’s why people like it a lot, it’s not like you have to rent a party bus out.”

UPDATE 8/22/14: That didn’t last long. The day after we told you about Weed Bus, state regulators have snuffed the idea:

Citing multiple state laws and a concern for public safety, the commission stated that charter and excursion vehicles, drivers, and passengers are considered to be in view of the general public, therefore, the consumption or use of marijuana products on board a charter or excursion vehicle is prohibited.

We’ve posted the full announcement, below.

There are two buses in the club that eventually will have set routes between legal marijuana retail stores and tourist sites such as Pike Place Market and Alki Beach in West Seattle, Prigmore says. He plans for people to hop on at different stops and ride for as long as they like. Continue reading