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.
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.
— Uncle Ike's (@UncleIkes206) September 30, 2014
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.
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 that we jokingly called “Little Amsterdam.” True enough, Mello Times, the winner of the state’s retail license lottery in the same area, also shows signs of moving its business forward.
Eisenberg’s lottery luck left him without a license despite owning prime real estate in the I-502-friendly and well-zoned area.
The Central District resident and business owner tells CHS that he is not partnering with Mello Times but was able to work out an “oh my fucking god” expensive deal to acquire a portion of another company that did luck out in the liquor board’s summer pot license lottery. Eisenberg declined to identify the business partner. The liquor board says that it allows lottery winners to work with the state on changing locations.
At 23rd and Union, Eisenberg has set up Uncle Ike’s in what local experts High Above Seattle call a “brilliant business” fashion:
Speaking of Mr. Eisenberg and his portfolio of success, how about the opening of not just Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop, but the grand opening of Uncle Ike’s Glass and Goods as well? In a building on the same lot, close to the pot shop, will be store which sells marijuana paraphernalia such as pipes, bongs, and vaporizers.
We think this is a brilliant business move! While it’s against WSLCB regulation to openly advertise that you are a recreational marijuana retail store on your storefront, why not advertise on your second store that you are a “glass shop.” Any customers who drive by and stop to purchase pot paraphernalia will be tickled to find out that they can purchase cannabis just next door.
Check out the rest of the High Above Seattle article for a good overview of the venture from an insider’s perspective.
With the former Med Mix restaurant serving as the glass shop and the new, highly secure marijuana store built on the back of the parcel, Uncle Ike’s even offers parking. You’ll note one space is taken by an enormous Mercedes truck/bus. Eisenberg said that will eventually serve as a tour bus to shuttle tourists between downtown and the Central District to do a little shopping.
Shoppers 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. I-502 allows customers to buy up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form, or 72 ounces in liquid form.
With thousands of dollars sunk into the new building, overhauling the old restaurant, contracting for security, purchasing inventory, and forging an expensive business license, Eisenberg says he is too busy preparing for Tuesday’s grand opening to stop to think about if it will be worth it.
“Ask me in two years,” he said. CHS, of course, will.
UPDATE: Uncle Ike’s says this guy camped out all night to be first in line for the grand opening: