TULALIP – The Tulalip Tribes opened the doors to Remedy Tulalip Friday, becoming one of the first legalized marijuana dispensaries in Indian Country in the U.S.
As one of only four tribes in Washington state to enter the cannabis retail market, Remedy Tulalip plans to cater to connoisseurs, tourists and other customers who may be entering a cannabis store for the first time.
The store at 9226 34th Ave. NE has been designed as an extension of the overall Tulalip experience that centers around hospitality and displays tribal cultural architecture and imagery, in a setting that’s more akin to visiting a wine shop than a fast-food restaurant. The latter is a reference to the drive-through window that has been put on hold at the store for now.
“Tulalip already has an established hospitality culture and brand in its resort and casino,” said Asst. General Manager Jonathan Teeters of Traditional Biologics Company (Remedy). “Our charge was to meet that or set a new high bar for cannabis, and that’s really what we’re trying to achieve.”
Cannabis Concierges greet every customer with an electronic pad in hand, ready to answer questions and describe brands in the store based on the customer’s need, whether they’re dealing with pain or sleep issues, want to relax after a long day, need an energy boost for hiking, or seek an herbal remedy for gastrointestinal problems.
A third of the store’s 73 employees are Tulalip Tribes member or tribal-related.
The store interior features an open showroom floor with products encased behind the counter and in wall displays. A key artistic feature is a 360-degree storytelling wrap-around with images of the Salish Sea and an orca, local river and forested foothill scenes and the Cascade Mountains, all of which tie into the type of products offered, from sleep to an energy boost, Teeters said.
Remedy Tulalip is the first enterprise of the Tulalip Economic Development Corportation (TEDCO), a quasi-independent economic development arm set up to manage business ventures for the tribes’ sovereign government, maximize revenue and stimulate business growth.
“Indian Country is poised to become leaders in the emerging cannabis market,” Tulalip Tribes Board Member Les Parks said.
“Three decades of experience in entertainment and hospitality, and an I-5 location, give Tulalip an advantage,” Parks said. “We have built a cannabis retail model that brings the same level of engagement, knowledge and professionalism that we offer at all our properties.”
Teeters said the store buys and carries native and native-affiliated brands, with a portion of its budget used to support those brands. Remedy Tulalip also buys stock from producers and processors in Arlington.
“Retail cannabis is only the tip of the iceberg, though, the tip of the vision,” Teeters said.
“We’re starting with that to prove that we can break the ceiling on cannabis, do it well, and that it’s not going to have negative effects on the community that have long plagued cannabis legalization across the country,” he said.
Tulalip is the only tribe in Washington that has created its own regulatory arm, the Tulalip Tribal Cannabis Agency, which will work with the state Liquor and Cannabis Control Board on policies and enforcement, Teeters said.
“We want the state to know that we take regulatory enforcement seriously, and we think this is a model that other tribes will follow,” he said.
Regarding a drive-through feature, the Muckleshoots are the only tribe to offer one for the disabled, elderly and others.
However, Remedy Tulalip does provide convenient mobile device and online ordering for in-store pickup.