Posted by: sweeneyblog | July 8, 2014

A Ground Floor View of Bellingham’s First Marijuana Store

The scene at Top Shelf Cannabis this morning was spectacular. Over 200 people gathered for the 8 a.m. opening of one of the first retail marijuana stores in Washington. The parking lot was full, the line stretched from the front door down through the parking lot and there were television cameras and microphones everywhere.

Satisfied Customer

Satisfied Customer

Journalists paced up and down the line looking for an unusual angle or a fresh insight (“Is anyone a Canadian that traveled down here just for this?”  “Anyone opposed to legalization but has changed your mind?”). The impression was one of plenty of people waiting in line, but that’s just part of the story.

I was impressed by the diversity of the people waiting. As usual, there was your mix of snowboarders and aging counter-culture folks but I talked to several retired women, eager to ease their aches and pains without a prescription and a handful of young professionals in business wear before clocking in at the office.

The crowd was pretty jubilant but the recurring theme I heard was, “I can’t wait until this is normal.” Many customers did not care for the pomp and circumstance and looked forward to the days of quiet shopping ahead.

There was some concern over pricing, but that faded away once customers were able to see the diversity of product. Each package of marijuana had the name of the strain on the back along with THC content percentage, moisture content, cannabid details and a whole range of medical information (most of which went over my head, to be honest).

While this morning’s kickoff was exciting, I am very curious to see how things will be in a months time, when the novelty has faded away. Hopefully, still running smoothly.

Below are a series of pictures from the event, captured by Sweeney’s Portraits.

IMG_5561 IMG_5580 IMG_5577 IMG_5581 IMG_5574



  1. I love that photo of Kevin Nelson at the end. He has been a voice of sanity in the PNW regarding ending the futile drug war for a very long time. I surely hope he’s right. I miss his column.

    • Oh, I thought Kevin was one of the Duck Dynasty stars. Sorry, my bad.

      Time to legalize cocaine and heroin [sarc].

  2. I know what cocaine and heroin are, but sarc. is a drug I am unfamiliar with

    • Why Bob Burr, it’s the drug of choice for people who choose willful ignorance!

  3. Sweeney’s Portraits does a fine job with the camera!

  4. […] July is my slow month as far as readers are concerned but thanks to the guns, gays and ganja social issues triple threat, I’ve been working overtime keeping this puppy running. So […]

  5. […] 2) The first retail marijuana store in the state opens in Bellingham. We don’t often get the spotlight but when Top Shelf Marijuana opened at 8am on July 8th, we had a flurry of attention. With only one other store (Seattle) opening on the first legal day of Pot Sales, Bellingham got to bask in a green glow. I was there on the scene reporting on the chaos. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: