We met at the Baltic Room in 2009. Jack is an average-looking white dude, bald and shorter than me, but there was instant and overpowering chemistry. I would never have guessed that he had a basement full of weed. I rented out my house and moved in with him three months later. It was love at first site – for both him and the grow room.
When I lost my job, I figured I could be a stay-at-home girlfriend, collect rent money, and take care of the ladies in his basement. He asked me to call dispensaries and make ‘donations’ which soon became my part-time job – working Rainier Ave and frequenting West Seattle, making connections with several dispensaries. In 2010, the going rate was $2,800 per pound, on consignment, and usually paid in full within three weeks.
I started getting the brush off from one dispensary, with a balance owing of $1,400 after 30 days. Jack doesn’t like people messing with his money, and decided to take matter into his own hands. We showed up and waited in the lobby of the dispensary, along with all the other growers looking to get paid. Thursdays were Pay Out days. The receptionist confirmed the owner was in his office, smoking weed with his accountant. Jack started pacing the lobby.
After an hour of waiting and without warning, my guy jumps over the half-wall barrier, and storms into the office, demanding to be paid. Two huge black guys stand up, towering over him, and an argument ensues. The owner puts his hands on Jack, and tried to escort him out, but Jack dug in his heels. “This is how you do business?! Touch me again mother fucker, and I’m calling the police. I’m not leaving until you pay me what you owe me.” Jack pulls out his cell phone, as if to call the police.
People in the lobby scatter for the exit. I look to the accountant and calmly said, “Just give me our $1,400 and I’ll get take him out of here.” Their voices get louder as my heart skips a beat – I thought I may pass out. The accountant quickly fumbles me the cash, including whatever bills were in his pocket, as Jack was threatening to bash in the owner’s new Mercedes in the parking lot. Once I counted the money – close enough – I grabbed my guy and we made a quick exit. The owner was hot on our heels, saying he’ll kill us if we ever came back.
Call me crazy, but I fell more in love with Jack that day. He took care of business, and of me. Life was so exciting back then, a little too exciting, as it turns out, but that’s another story. We haven’t seen each other in almost a year.
The dispensary went out of business six months later, and the owner, a suspected member in the Black Mafia, is in prison. I slept with one eye open for about a week, recalling they had a copy of my driver’s license, as all patients are required to provide.
The financial marijuana industry is constantly evolving in Seattle. Now growers get paid approx. $600 cash per quarter pound, for normal, good Seattle bud. A lot of dispensaries require testing certificates – unheard of 2009. And with applications for recreational permits coming out next month, everything will change once again. What an amazing adventure – most of the time!