I was there for the opening of the first retail marijuana store in Seattle on Tuesday. Cannabis City, a little store in SoDo that sits beside a Subway and is now a major focal point of the city since it is the only place one can legally buy cannabis in the city. I wanted to go there to experience what it might be like to be a recreational user.
I was curious to see who would show up to such an event and if it would be the major lines and masses of people like they had in Colorado. It was not like Colorado, apparently, because there were way less people, like hundreds, not thousands. The event, while exciting, felt well planned, safe, and pretty chill. The crowd was super mellow, no surprise there. When I got there I kind of just stood across the street for a few minutes to observe from afar before jumping into the scene.
There was press everywhere and camera lovers from politicians to business promoters and activists who took advantage of the event for publicity.
I made a little video while there and circulated with the people that were in line. I was surprised how many people were from out of town and how many locals were casually showing up who never thought they would be able to get a decent spot without waiting all day. While standing near the back alley a truck drove by and a guy leaned out the passenger side window offering a quarter ounce of marijuana for $60. Everybody in line ignored him and smiled at each other as they drove off.
While these people were standing in line for hours in the blazing noon sun to get a couple of grams of marijuana, I had consumed a solid dose of cannabis coconut oil on my breakfast. As I stood among these regular “recreational users” I remembered what it was like to walk into a medical marijuana dispensary and figure out what to order for the first time.
Very exciting and overwhelming. Their experience, however, was limited to a couple of grams of prepackaged dry flower and a four strains to pick from. Still, very exciting. My experience in a medical cannabis collective is very different. There are multiple flower strains, CBD strains, concentrates, edibles, the variety almost feels endless when it comes to the choices I have as a patient in Washington right now. I am thankful for every single one of those choices as somebody who uses cannabis daily for pain management and neurological health. I am also thankful to live in a place where my ‘non-medical’ friends now have safe, legal access to cannabis too.