— -- Legal marijuana sales begin across Washington state today, an occasion that had some people camping out overnight to ensure a place in line.
Deb Greene, a grandmother of three and competitive runner, showed up before 3 p.m. Monday with a chair, sleeping bag, food, water and a 930-page book.
“I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime, and to be able to vote for it and to be able to enjoy it legally was just an awesome thing in my life,” Greene said.
The state joined Colorado by voting in November 2012 to legalize marijuana for adults over 21, and to create state-licensed systems for growing, selling and taxing the pot. Sales began in Colorado on Jan. 1.
Growers such as Bob Leeds are excited to participate in Washington’s new venture.
“This is so exciting,” Leeds said. “This is like being a pioneer. I came out of retirement to do this.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
It turns out, voting for legal marijuana is easier than enacting it. While two dozen stores will open across the state, only one shop has been approved so far for Seattle – Cannabis City.
Shop manager Amber McGowan expects lots of buzz today.
“We anticipate 10,000 people,” McGowan said. “We hope to goodness we won’t get that much, because we don’t have that much product.”
Along with the crowds, a shortage is expected, too. Less than 100 of the 2,600 people who applied to be pot growers have been approved, leaving a limited supply of the marijuana available.
But stores will be ready today, with some managers arranging for food trucks and free water along with portable toilets to ensure that customers are comfortable during their wait.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.