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.

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.

IMG_8333

(Images: CHS)

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.

IMG_8352With 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:10383835_793693697356989_3448611947844965629_o

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

47 thoughts on “Seattle’s second I-502 retailer, Uncle Ike’s opens Tuesday — UPDATE

  1. Was surprised to see them open and selling on Saturday. There may be lines around the block on Tuesday, but at least a few people got in ahead to avoid the rush!

      • Well, you both have a solid point. Most smokers, believe it or not, WANT marijuana to be regulated and taxed so they can finally know more or less what they’re buying, and just as important, smokers want violent criminal gangs out of the weed business. But yeah, prices will have to go down significantly before the black market disappears. Black market generally runs from $10-$15 a gram. If the legal market can approach those prices (say, $12-$18 a gram, or cheaper by the ounce), then the black market will face some serious competition. I’m more than happy to pay a little extra for the convenience of walking to the store rather than waiting around for some burned out dealer (bless his heart, no offense) to finally show up to sell his goods, of which you really have no idea what you’re getting per se. But jeez louise, not THAT much extra. For comparison, your typical “quarter bag” is about 7 grams. I guess the “good stuff” is about $75 a bag, but you’re looking at $182 at the store. Yikes.

      • “Most smokers, believe it or not, WANT marijuana to be regulated and taxed so they can finally know more or less what they’re buying, and just as important, smokers want violent criminal gangs out of the weed business.”

        Yup, that’s my point. It’s the principle of the thing. Without wanting to hijack the thread, this is why I don’t mind paying more for booze (for now, anyway) in grocery stores. Because I don’t think the State should be in the booze business either.

        Of course I do understand why many people will buy it “black market”– because they can’t afford to. pr choose not to, overpay. But to specifically answer the question– this is I will willingly pay more. I know fully well I could get it cheaper.

      • I have definitely noticed a difference in ‘quality’ between street pot (a ‘dealer’ comes to my building regularly) & regulated MM. When we pay the $8-$10/gram we are assured of many things — we don’t need anything else added or the prices to go up. Of course, they will eventually but hopefully not more than a couple bucks a gram. This should be interesting!

    • It’s a valid question. Still 3x cheaper would probably be cheap, dry, shake – not the good stuff.

      We don’t have a problem paying these prices because:

      1) a selection of strains to choose from. We can decide if we want Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid.

      2) we know exactly what we’re getting. ie.,THC levels, CBD levels

      3) because it’s tested, we can be rest assured their is no mold growing in the cannabis

      4) it convenient. open daily. of course, the industry is still rolling out but once it’s fully operational and they have enough stock, it will be open everyday.

    • I suppose it’s possible that prices in the retail shops will come down once there are more of them, and a better supply, but my guess is that their prices will always be significantly more than the black market, and that the latter will continue to flourish.

      One of the main arguments in favor of legalization was that it would eliminate, or at least reduce, the black market and the drug cartels which supply it. That is not likely to happen.

    • Oh good Lord! What are they thinking? Anyone who pays that amount – $24/gram – is out of their effing minds! I get mine for $8-10 (this last Sunday grams were $6/oz for the day! I love my pot-shop for my medical marijuana needs – the staff is amazing. But $24/oz? Yikes, folks! Greedy or what?

    • The problem with the marketplace. Is the fact that the state and the feds take 58% in taxes on the wholesale price and then at the retailers side….not sustainable. Also retailers are trying to double their money and then some. With he amount of product the retailer can move in a day, they could easily take a smaller margin and turn over their shelf space and therin actually making a better profit margin on an annual basis. just like, Amazon, Walmart etc. and think about it, if the retailor offers to pay a little higher in wholesale and asks for less to the buyer at retail they will have every manufacturer clammering to do business with them. because right now the producers are going out of business due to taxes and selling their product at too low of a price point. We should follow Oregons idea of tax obligations.

      Food for thought

      • The state and feds aren’t taking 58%, no producers I know are going out of business and I haven’t seen any retailers that are doubling their money.

  2. Manny the Washington situation is very different than Colorado’s The LCB’s rules have created a very stringent framework that I think will work. The biggest difference is that we have banking. Washington is creating a highly regulated framework that takes into account safety first.

  3. Omari Tahir on Monday, September 29, 2014 – 1:00 am said:

    THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BUSINESS FOR THE HIGHLANDS OFF 145TH AND AURORA, BROADMOOR, MADISON PARK, SEWARD PARK ETC, WHERE PEOPLE CAN AFFORD FOR THEIR MONEY TO “GO UP IN SMOKE”???. AS FAR AS A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE ON 23RD AND UNION??? ONLY A COMMUNITY OUTSIDER, DESTROYER, “WANNA BE GENTRIFIER / EHTNIC CLEANSER LIKE IAN OR A “CIRCUS CLOWN” WOULD ATTEMPT TO ADD TO THE MURDER COUNT ON THIS BLOCK CURRENTLY AT 6 (LARRY WARD 1970, CHICAGO NATIVE 1990s (IN FRONT OF HELEN’S / TOMPSON’S VIEW POINT / NEIGHBOR LADIES, BOTH OWNERS OF FORMER BUSINESS BEFORE MED MIX (ARSON FIRE ENDING) ONE OWNER MURDERED INSIDE BUILDING THE OTHER NEAR BY (1990s), AARON ROBERTS (2001), AND KEVIN BROWN (2014),
    WOW WHAT HISTORY NOT INCLUDING THE “FERGUSON STYLE” RIOTING ON THIS CORNER (1968, 1969) AND FORMER MAYOR PAUL SHELL’S ACCIDENT (2001)??? TWO SAYINGS APPLY, ONE “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT” AND TWO, “THOSE THAT DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE BOUND TO REPEAT IT”. 23RD AND UNION HAS BEEN / IS THE CENTER OF AFRICATOWN / CD SINCE THE 1950s. HOW WOULD I KNOW??? BEEN LIVING WITH IN 15 BLOCKS OF 23RD AND UNION SINCE 1946 INCLUDING DIRECTLY BEHIND POST OFFICE ON 24TH. PLEASE RESEARCH AND THEN FILE LAWSUIT AS TO HOW IAN ENDED UP WITH “WEED AND SEED” STORE WITH OUT WINING “WEED LOTTERY’???? STAY TUNED THE BATTLE IS AT THE STARTING LINE BUT THE END IS VERY EASY TO SEE??? NO ONE BUT A FOOL WOULD BE FORE A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE TO ADD TO THE CONFLICT ON UNION?? TEAR DOWN THE “WEED STORE” NOT LIBERTY BANK??????? “IT TAKES A VILLAGE (AFRICATOWN AND CHINATOWN) TO RAISE A CHILD”. SEE YOU ON THE CORNER OF 23RD AND UNION DAILY. Omari Tahir, FOUNDER / PRESIDENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURE CENTER, AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN SUPPORTER.
    Reply ↓
    Omari Tahir on Monday, September 29, 2014 – 1:31 am said:

    BY THE WAY DON’T FORGET TO CONTACT THE MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL PEOPLE AND YOUR LAWYER ABOUT THIS ASININE IDEA TO PUT A “WEED AND SEED” CRIME STORE ON 23RD AND UNION WHILE POLITICIANS WALK THE STREETS AGAINST CRIME AND WASTE MORE TAX DOLLAR$$$$$ HIRING 100 MORE UPRODUCTIVE TAX DRAINING ANGRY AND VIOLENT GOVERNMENT STREET AGENTS WITH GUNS AND BADGES WITH LITTLE EDUCATION (MEDICAL DOCTOR WITH OPERATING KNIFE AND ONLY HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA)??? WHAT ABOUT HIRING 100 MORE TEACHERS FOR MADRONA, LESHI, STEVENS, WASHINGTON, MEANY, GARFIELD ECT WITH COLLEGE DEGREES (MASTERS AND PHDs FOR CHEAPER PRICE??? Omari Tahir
    Reply ↓

  4. Pingback: Seattle’s Second Legal Pot Shop Opens Its Doors « Jack Seattle FM

  5. Usually I can’t stand this guy but he raises some relevant issues as far as I
    am concerned. Did Ian win in the lottery? Hmmmm….
    Ian Eisenberg was bragging about how he was going to IMPROVE the corner of 23rd and Union…and this is what he came up with?? Ian is only interested in improving his portfolio. What a jerk.

    • I live in the vicinity and I think the new business is definitely an improvement over the vacant parking lot it replaces.

      What are the “relevant issues” which are so concerning to you? I won’t read that all caps nonsense above.

  6. Pingback: More pot coming to E Union? | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  7. Pingback: ‘Shut it down’ — Rally, prayer against I-502 marijuana shop Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  8. Pingback: Central Seattle’s only pot store, Uncle Ike’s sold $13,736 of marijuana per day in first week | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  9. Pingback: Central Seattle’s only pot store, Uncle Ike’s sold $13,736 of marijuana per day in first week | Gazelle

  10. Pingback: Church sues to shut down marijuana shop at 23rd and Union, change the way Seattle zones pot | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle