WASHINGTON: Washington cannabis licensee Higher Leaf has announced it will open its second recreational marijuana store in Bellevue, WA in early 2017. Construction on the new site has been underway since the fall and final inspections by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the City of Bellevue will occur within the next few weeks. Higher Leaf’s first store is located in Kirkland.
Higher Leaf will be the first marijuana store to open in Bellevue since February 2015, despite a recent Bellevue City Council ordinance limiting marijuana retailers in the city. Higher Leaf is the fourth marijuana retailer to open in Bellevue. Higher Leaf in Kirkland is already the most popular store on the east side (per state sales data) and the 6th most popular store in the state. With the second location opening in Bellevue, Higher Leaf becomes the first multi-store chain to operate on the Eastside. The store’s street entrance is located next to the drive-through Starbucks on 156th Ave SE and is just down the road from the Washington State Patrol office.
The Bellevue location is a bright, open retail space with six points of sale. Visitors can park on site or take advantage of several area bus stops within walking distance. The new store will stock many of the same vendors currently available at Higher Leaf in Kirkland and customers can expect the same high level of service that they have come to expect from Higher Leaf and they may see a few familiar faces from the Kirkland shop.
MJNewsNetwork had the chance to ask owner Molly Honig a few question about the new store:
Q: You’ve been quite successful in your Kirkland store. How will you tailor your experience and inventory to map to Bellevue’s demographics.
A: We think consistency is important to customers and we will strive to carry many of our most popular products from our Kirkland store in our Bellevue as well. However, we certainly understand that the thing that is most popular in the Kirkland store might not be as popular in Bellevue, and the most requested items can certainly change over time. In our Kirkland store, we strive to be really customer focused and responsive to customer requests, which we will continue to do in Bellevue. It is hard for us to know exactly how the Bellevue clientele’s preferences will differ from the Kirkland store clientele, but we are prepared to adapt to the needs of our new customer base.
In both stores, we will continue to put the customer first and we will strive to create a consistently positive customer experience. We want to continue to create an environment all customers feel welcome and get all of their questions answered. We are very proud of our menu and the wide variety of products and price points that we offer. We love carrying everything from top shelf product, to great mid-priced product, to grams that are $6 every day. We take pride in the accuracy of our menu, which is usually re-printed twice a day in our store and updated online on our website throughout the day.
Q: How many employees/new jobs will be created from your new store?
A: Two years ago, when we first opened our Kirkland location, we had 11 employees. By December of 2016, Kirkland was up to 27 employees. We have already hired for 8 additional positions for our Bellevue store and we anticipate hiring a few more as we open. My best guess is that we will have a total of 40, in both stores, by the early spring.
Higher Leaf Bellevue is located at 3079 156th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 and will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days a week. The store will announce more details about an official Grand Opening celebration on www.higherleaf.com later this month.