Legal Standoff Over Pot Store

WASHINGTON:  With all the complications that local bans have caused for Washington’s recreational pot market, two state-licensed businessmen have decided to take matters into their own hands in south Pierce County.

Tedd Wetherbee and Mike Henery own the Gallery, a pot shop-art gallery mashup that celebrated its grand opening in Parkland on March 1. Media attention hasn’t focused on the thousands of dollars in artwork that adorns the Soho-style space, but rather the business’s dubious legality.

The Gallery is the first state-licensed recreational marijuana outlet to open in a county that outlaws recreational marijuana. The two owners say their actions are not a jab at the county, but rather a response to something larger.

“This is two licensed businessmen exerting their right to operate,” Wetherbee said. “We got a license from the state. The state went through our backgrounds with a microscope and said, ‘You guys qualify, go do this.’ And so we’re doing this.”