Seattle’s weird weekend of protest: Anti-gentrification rally and Uncle Ike’s boycott, pro-police protest at City Hall, ‘Let Us Worship’ concert in Cal Anderson

Friday’s cannabis protest

With reporting by Lena Friedman — CHS Intern

After a summer of protest, this weekend in Seattle might have been the strangest bout of activism yet with a demonstration targeting the city’s marijuana industry and most notorious potrepreneur getting things started and a huge — and hugely reckless — Christian concert in Cal Anderson finishing things off Sunday night.

In between, hundreds of people showed up outside City Hall to protest planned Seattle Police budget cuts, hundreds protested for those cuts and changes — and, by the time it was all over, there was broken glass again on Capitol Hill.

Things started Friday night with activists from Engage Seattle leading an “anti-gentrification rally and Uncle Ike’s boycott” encircling two of the Ian Eisenberg-owned cannabis shops.

“We are gathered here today to boycott Ike’s not because it’s successful, but because we are fed up with the racist lies, the hypocrisy, and the blatant and obvious and visible gentrification,” an organizer said in front of Uncle Ike’s flagship store on 23rd and Union, a prominent intersection where Black people were frequently arrested for selling marijuana and other drugs.

The Uncle Ike’s chain of pot shops continues to attract hundreds of protestors amid a growing campaign centered around racism within the cannabis industry. Continue reading

The Reef pot shop helps put Capitol Hill’s Arcade Plaza pavement park back into the game

(Image: CHS)

There wasn’t much left of the Capitol Hill Pac-Man pavement park but the arcade game-themed paint job. Thanks to neighboring pot shop The Reef, it won’t be game over for a public space that — despite the rarity of open space in this densely packed part of the Hill — was on its way to being returned to street parking

Friday, the marijuana retailer unveiled its makeover of the E Olive Way at Summit at Denny pocket park complete with concrete ping-pong tables, corn hole fixtures, park-grade tables, chairs, and lighting. There’s room for food trucks. And the shop says it plans to sponsor future live music performances and art installations in the park. Continue reading

Police investigating after ‘incendiary’ fire at Central District Uncle Ike’s

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

The Uncle Ike’s shopping complex at the corner of 23rd and Union suffered $5,000 in damage in a suspected overnight arson fire.

Seattle Fire tells CHS their investigation determined the early morning Sunday fire was “incendiary” in nature meaning it was likely intentionally set.

Crews were called to the retail shop just before 2:30 AM after an automatic fire alarm was triggered. Arriving firefighters found light smoke coming from a rooftop vent and transitioned the call to a full response and bringing several trucks to the scene.

The fire was quickly taken care of and three people inside the shop were reported to have exited on their own without injury. Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s reorg? Pot retailer seeks cannabis board approval as it prepares to open new Capitol Hill shop

Uncle Ike's 15th Ave E

Uncle Ike’s 15th Ave E (Image: CHS)

Filings with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board indicate that Uncle Ike’s founder Ian Eisenberg is reorganizing the corporations and partnerships behind one of Seattle’s largest marijuana retailers as the chain is preparing to open a new Capitol Hill location later this year.

The applications for a transfer of existing licenses to a new Jet City Retail corporation were filed earlier this month.

Typically, assumption applications are part of the acquisition process for a new owner of an existing licensed business. But for the five applications filed May 7th for the various Uncle Ike’s locations around the city, the process appears to be corporate housekeeping and consolidating of the various limited liability corporations and companies brought together to form the various Ike’s entities. Continue reading

Suspect charged in Capitol Hill pot shop armed robbery

Police say the person identified as a suspect in a string of gunpoint robberies that included a hold-up at a Capitol Hill pot shop in which the armed 20-year-old allegedly blasted his way out a locked glass door has turned himself in.

Lucien Jordan has been charged with robbery in the first degree. Prosecutors say the Tacoma resident “engaged in a series of escalating acts of violence” including armed robberies across King County: Continue reading

Police say gunfire at Capitol Hill pot shop likely not related to string of robberies — UPDATE

(Image: CHS)

UPDATE 1/10/2020: Police have clarified that the suspect has been identified but they are still working to interview the person. “We are still searching for the suspect and will continue to until we can speak with them. Based on how that conversation goes we will be able to determine if charges are filed.” We have updated the headline to more accurately describe the complicated situation.

UPDATE 1/24/2020: A suspect has been charged in the incident.

The just-before-Christmas incident in which Capitol Hill cannabis dealer Ruckus was shot up and reportedly robbed has caused concern in the neighborhood about crime and violence connected to marijuana retailers as police investigate a string of area armed pot shop robberies. Just Monday morning, East Precinct officers responded to another armed hold-up reported at a shop on Rainier Ave just south of Jackson.

But CHS has learned that police aren’t searching for a suspect in the late night December 21st Ruckus incident in which a man reportedly opened fire inside the business and shattered the front door to exit with a bag of marijuana products while leaving behind a bag of cash. Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s ‘Capitol Hill West’ shop ready to start construction on E Olive Way

(Image: CHS)

A year after The Reef won the race to bring legal pot to Capitol Hill’s western slope of E Olive Way, its neighborhood competition will finally begin construction on its new store.

Last week, the city’s planning department finally approved the construction permit for Uncle Ike’s “Capitol Hill West” shop, a project that will convert a former two-story legal office building neighboring The Crescent into E Olive Way’s second marijuana store.

Pot entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg paid more than $2 million for the two-story, 1967-era property in the fall of 2017 as a land rush for E Olive Way properties played out after shifting laws and policies opened up the street to I-502 pot development. Continue reading

Capitol Hill pot shop hit — again — in reported overnight robbery

Police and the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter searched northern Capitol Hill overnight after a suspect reportedly held up the Ruckus Recreational pot shop just off 15th Ave E.

Friday night, police rushed to the Ruckus shop just after 11:30 PM and surrounded the shop while waiting to make contact with an employee waiting inside. According to East Precinct radio reports, police began searching the surrounding area with a K9 dog unit but did not immediately track down a suspect. Police were also looking for a vehicle seen leaving the area as officers arrived. Continue reading

In race for District 3, Bowers puts housing first

Bowers says it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Seattle’s lack of affordable housing (Image: Vote for Logan)

Covering an election as if it were a horse race is frowned upon when it comes to journalism ethics. It puts the focus on things like polling data and popularity — not policy. So, how about a Solowheel race?

It’s true. Logan Bowers rides an “electric unicycle” — he Solowheeled to our meeting with the candidate around the holidays at 15th Ave E’s Victrola. But while he was rolling across Capitol Hill, he was thinking about housing — housing policy.

“I think the thing to remember is that we had a huge win when we got $15 an hour minimum wage, but all of the gains from that wage — or nearly all of them have been eaten up by rent,” Bowers said. “So folks aren’t better off if we can’t control the price of housing.” Continue reading

‘Please refrain from donating to panhandlers’ — Capitol Hill Uncle Ike’s sign targets handouts

The message posted by @Needs1st calls out Uncle Ike’s for… well, a lot of stuff

The 15th Ave E location of the Uncle Ike’s pot retail empire has stirred up another call for boycott against the business.

Its owner says that a sign asking customers to donate to a neighborhood nonprofit and not give money to panhandlers was driven by the community — neighbors, merchants, and the city in meetings, and complaints on social media like Facebook and the Nextdoor neighborhood app.

But after the sign was moved recently from inside the store to replace a Harold & Kumar movie poster that had been framed in lights out front since the shop’s opening, its new prominence has neighbors talking, indeed. Continue reading