When Paul and Maria Grenwood walked into 2020 Solutions at 2018 Iron St., they got a menu and took a seat in a waiting area. Seconds later, a 2020 Solutions employee ushered them over to a counter where they could pick between several strains of marijuana.
Budtenders, the pot store equivalent of a bartender, offered several strains of marijuana in glass containers with screened lids to smell.
The retail marijuana store, which originally planned to open Tuesday, didn’t open until 4:20 p.m. on Thursday because their suppliers had issues navigating the state’s seed-to-sale inventory process.
By Friday, they were serving a steady stream of customers. Aaron Nelson, senior vice president of operations, said the store still had a decent supply of marijuana.
Across town at 3863 Hannegan Road, Top Shelf Cannabis had sold about 3,000 grams of marijuana by Friday afternoon.
“We haven’t run out yet,” said Sigrid Williams, a manager at Top Shelf Solutions. “We’re on the phone with growers trying to figure stuff out. Right now we’re looking OK.”
Williams said she was surprised at how little the demand had slowed since Tuesday. Lines still occasionally formed throughout the week outside Top Shelf Cannabis, she said. The store only lets in as many people as their security can watch, she said.
“Who’s buying? It’s quite an eclectic bunch, I’ve seen college professors, lawyers doctors people’s grandmas, the 21-year-old college crowd,” Williams said. “We had a guy drive up from Alabama.”
Employees at both bellingham shops said customers were mostly local. The number of people coming from Seattle increased on Friday as Cannabis City, Seattle’s only retail pot shop, ran out and closed it’s doors.
Cannabis City’s voicemail message for incoming callers on Friday said they expected to reopen July 21.
Back at 2020 Solutions, The Grenwoods picked 1/8 ounce (3.5 grams) of a strain called Godzilla from Canneman Farms in Kelso. The cost – $95 per 1/8 ounce – was more than half the street price, but for the Grenwoods said the extra cost of buying pot legally was worth it.
“We definitely feel more comfortable coming into the store and having everything be legal,” Maria said. “Overall it was a much better process than I thought it was going to be.”
But for other customers, like Bellingham resident James Atwell, the difference between price in the retail shops compared to the black market was too much.
Atwell browsed 2020 Solutions for a minute and then left, telling the budtender that the store’s marijuana was out of his price range. Atwell can find an ⅛ ounce for closer to $35, he said.
“I’m not hating, I’d definitely rather buy it legally, but it’s just a little pricey,” he said.