Bellingham stores say they still have marijuana despite shortages

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 14, 2014 

	0708 POT STORES

Marijuana for sale Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - The two pot stores to open in Bellingham still have marijuana on their shelves with more being delivered to meet ongoing demand as legal recreational sales in Washington state enter their second week.

That demand includes customers from Seattle, where the lone store to open in that city closed its doors last Thursday for up to two weeks after running out of pot.

Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham has been getting 50 to 100 calls a day and probably about 50 people a day coming up from Seattle to buy marijuana, according to Top Shelf investor John Evich.

Aaron Nelson, senior vice president of operations for 2020 Solutions, said the Bellingham store is seeing customers from all over the country, adding that about 30 percent of customers are driving more than 50 miles.

Evich and Nelson said Monday, July 14, that they still have pot to sell.

"If business stays as it is right now, we shouldn't have any problem making it until our next delivery shows up and the following delivery after that," Evich said.

Top Shelf Cannabis opened on Tuesday, July 8, the first day of legal recreational pot sales in Washington state.

2020 Solutions opened Thursday.

"We are doing great. We've had plenty of inventory," Nelson said.

State voters approved Initiative 502 in November 2012, legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington for those 21 years and older.

Pot stores are the next and most public piece of the recreational rollout.

The stores - 25 statewide have received licenses but fewer have been ready for business - opened their doors last week amid concerns of a pot shortage.

On Monday, Nelson said 2020 Solutions was selling four strains of marijuana for an average price of $27 to $29 post-tax for a little more than a gram.

Its supply, so far, is coming from Blewett Pass Farms in Peshastin and CannaMan Farms in Camas.

By Monday evening, Top Shelf Cannabis had just the customer favorite - Opal OG Kush - on the shelf for $44 for two grams, post tax.

The retailer noted that it hasn't had a chance to put the most recent shipment into the state's required traceability system, so its 10 a.m. opening on Tuesday could be delayed, in part so crews can do inventory.

Its suppliers, for now, are Nine Point Growth Industries out of Bremerton; Sea of Green Farms out of Seattle; and Kouchlock Productions out of Spokane.

Top Shelf should have access to even more marijuana in about two or 21/2 weeks from a tier three grower-processor who is a friend of Tom Beckley, the owner of Top Shelf, according to Evich.

Tier 3 is the largest level allowed by the state.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com .

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