Another pot shop in the works on Capitol Hill? Guess where we found Uncle Ike


With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

The intersection of local, state, and federal concerns has made finding spaces for retail pot a challenge on Capitol Hill. A new project being lined up on E Olive Way may expand the Hill’s options. You’ll find some cannabis-familiar names behind it.

John Davis, a longtime marijuana advocate and regulator in the Seattle area, confirmed to CHS that he is making plans for a new venture in a recently sold office building in the 1400 block of E Olive Way neighboring The Crescent. Davis declined further comment at this time. A new application for marijuana retail and medical marijuana licenses filed October 20th for the address lists a business name of Northwest Cannabis.

Another familiar character in PNW pot is also in the mix.

King County property records show that the office building sold in September to Seattle pot entrepreneur Ian EisenbergThe Uncle Ike’s owner paid more than $2 million for the two-story, 1967-era property.

How does it all fit together?

CHS is working it out. It’s possible Davis and Eisenberg are partnering. Also possible: another preemptive strike by the acquisitive owner behind Uncle Ike’s similar to the situation that developed around his shop on 15th Ave E. The Capitol Hill Uncle Ike’s opened in October 2016 after Eisenberg purchased the former veterinary clinic on the corner where his competitor was planning to open his own pot shop. That purchase cost him $1.5 million, by the way. The same holding company is listed on the paperwork for the E Olive Way purchase.

Eisenberg declined to comment on the property deal. Uncle Ike’s is a longtime CHS advertiser.

Davis, meanwhile, previously headed the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics in Washington, chaired Hempfest, and owned the Northwest Patient Resource Center. The guy’s been working in drug policy for two decades.He’s now on the National Cannabis Industry Association board. Davis previously spoke with KUOW about working with the state liquor board before pot became legal.

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

30 thoughts on “Another pot shop in the works on Capitol Hill? Guess where we found Uncle Ike

  1. I would like minority and women owned cannabis shop options to exist the community. I don’t know all the factors that need to go into that for equal opportunity but a chain becoming the Amazon of cannabis is not what I want to happen.

  2. I was/am pro-legalize MJ, but Uncle Ike’s is the worst thing that has happened to the 15thSt area in my 10 years of living here. The intersection of 15th/Republican has become a trash heap mess with heroin and meth sales, users, and loiterers. Thank you Mr Eisenberg for not giving a shit and having no regard for the character or safety of the neighborhood…but please, go ahead and find a way to add more lights and signage emblazoned with your name, make your shitload of cash, and continue your shady business practices into other corners of the city.

    • Gotta agree with BecomingNIMBY. I saw a woman with a sign advertizing rates for sexual acts in front of Uncle Ikes; one night a guy at Republican and Malden shouted across the street to me “hey, wanna buy a laptop for $15?”; and the outdoor chairs at Ladro were only used by people who weren’t there to drink coffee until Ladro removed them. There are also people regularly strung out on something more powerful drugs than MJ. It wasn’t like this when it was just Ruckus.

    • Uncle Ike’s seems to be the one that attracted this crowd. If having the store meant people came, bought their product, and went home, I’d be fine with it. But that is not what has happened.
      (I would have included this with the previous post, but the Post Comment button scrolls out the bottom of this fixed-size Leave a Reply box)

    • Well, BecomingNIMBY, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s fine if you want to be pro-legalization, but if so you have to accept some responsibility for the fact that there was bound to be some negative consequences, and the situation on 15th Ave E is one of them.

    • Bob, what kind of logic is that? We should be quiet and take it because it’s what we voted for? Are you really being serious?

      I strongly disagree with this type of thinking.

    • Bob, you’re totally off on this one. We don’t (willingly) excuse or tolerate this type of behavior in front of liquor stores, bars, or even strip clubs. Or anywhere. There’s no reason we should accept it in front of weed stores, either. For the most part the behavior around weed stores has been remarkably well-behaved. Better, in fact, than in front of your average Jack-in-the-Box. This is unacceptable, and whether it’s the cops or the security of the weed store that addresses it, we shouldn’t expect it.

    • Honestly, that describes most of the Hill now, not just 15th and Republican. Summit Slope park was a shooting gallery and encampment most of the summer. Only with the rain has it cleared out.

    • OK, I apologize for my lack of clear thinking in my previous comment. I was just trying to point out that there is, and will be, some negative consequences of pot legalization, but I did it in an awkward way.

  3. Actually, it is Ruckus that allows people to sleep in their door area and does nothing about it. Ike’s sends crews out to clean up trash. Ike’s goes to community meetings and neighborhood councils. Ike’s is not to blame here. It is the abundance of homeless in Seattle that has now creeped up to 15th, it was only a matter of time before it happened. We can’t keep our blinders on anymore. We need to solve the problem, not blame it on small businesses. NIMBY for sure.

    • “We need to solve the problem, not blame it on small businesses.”

      Funny how you end on that point, but spend most of your post blaming Ruckus and defending Ike’s…

  4. Ike is racist trash, and so are the commenters above who probably haven’t lived in Seattle long enough to know that, ahem, this community once belonged to poc before being forced out by greedy white people with an astonishing lack of self awareness of their surroundings, and the space they believe they are entitled to.

  5. I welcome a Pot shop nearer to my home. That I own (the home, not the pot shop). It’s legal and I’m of age. I have lived in Seattle for 14 years. I love my neighborhood with all of its challenges. I understood there are halfway houses nearby when I moved in. I don’t hate people because they aren’t exactly like me.

    /Which side of this pointless debate am I on?

  6. Get the fuck out of here with blaming all this shit on Ike’s. Yes, why don’t they accost the homeless people begging on the sidewalk? Oh yea, because it’s illegal. The best that can be done is reporting illegal activity to police and not actively allowing the homeless to be on the property (which Ruckus does not do but they’re smaller so I guess they get a pass?). The homeless are more in front of Ike’s because Ike’s is one of the busiest cash only businesses in Seattle and there’s a ton of homeless people in Seattle.

    Ike’s cleans up the neighborhood garbage monthly, removes refuse around the shop daily (hourly?), put in speakers to deter homeless people from hanging out, and employs a diverse workforce (incl management). If you really want to curb the homeless issue, stop giving them money directly.

    If we’re having the how Seattle-are-you dick measuring contest, I shook hands with Superintendent John Stanford in 4th grade and it was awesome.