Longview's Retail Marijuana Options Expanding As New Stores Open

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Washington State - Longview's grass is growing as three new retail marijuana stores are opening their doors in the city. The owners of 420 Holiday – at 1024 10th Ave. on the edge of the Triangle Mall – expect to open Friday, and Longview Freedom Market – at 971 14th Ave. near downtown – had its grand opening last week. A third store just outside city limits – Westside 420 Recreational at 4503 Ocean Beach Highway – is opening at 10 a.m. Saturday after securing its supply. "We're really excited and really proud," owner Sally Sexton said. She said supplies will be ready though limited at first ahead of what she expects to be a huge shipment coming soon. She added that the store will be open permanently, even during temporary shortages of inventory.

The Longview Freedom Market is a second location of the Freedom Market on West Side Highway owned by Kathy Nelson. The new store is a partnership with Todd and Rachel Bratton, who won the state lottery for a license in town. The store also has a separate glass shop in its basement, called Freedom Glass, that expands on what the upstairs and West Side store have offered so far. And though it was just glass sales for much of last week, the store is now stocked with cannabis from growers in Cathlamet, and Nelson expects shipments to be steady and prices to fall as more growers come online. "Hopefully, we won't have to let anyone know we're out ever again," Todd Bratton said.

Delays in licensing for growers and processors and the demand for legal marijuana across the state have squeezed supplies and kept prices high – around $35 per gram after taxes are applied – since retail stores started opening in July. The owner of the Triangle Mall store, 420 Holiday, says he is going to try to set prices as low as $15 per gram. A vibrant green paint job and new ADA-accessible ramp on the house-turned-pot shop has it looking much different than it did even a month ago.

Wood floors were getting a final polish Thursday before display cases would be filled up with product that the owner (who asked not to be named due to other business interests) is expecting to get in this week from growers north of town who he said are able to offer less-expensive, high-potency marijuana. "We're excited," the owner said. "We're going to be serving the finest marijuana in Southwest Washington."

The openings of two other stores in Cowlitz County are still up in the air, with one license in Woodland on hold due to the city's moratorium on marijuana businesses and one retail store on California Way in Longview not yet ready to open. The state has racked up more than $3 million in tax revenues since sales began July 8. The two months of sales data show considerable variance between days, likely due to the stop-and-go supply affecting stores throughout the state. Marijuana merchants recently got new direction on how they can advertise, such as what's permitted online and with Facebook and Twitter accounts, after the Washington Liquor Control Board, which supervises retain marijuana sales, posted a comprehensive guide to advertising rules.



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Source: Tdn.com
Author: Brooks Johnson
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