ARLINGTON — New players are getting into the recreational cannabis business eight years after legal sales started in Washington state.
The latest is the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, who opened a retail cannabis shop in September.
A line wrapped around the building last weekend for the grand opening of the store, just off I-5 exit 210 near Arlington. Patrons posed for pictures with actor and cannabis advocate Tommy Chong, 84, of the comedy duo Cheech & Chong.
The weed shop is just a few minutes’ drive from the tribe’s Angel of the Winds Casino Resort. The store is in a brand-new building with floor-to-ceiling windows and smooth wood counters.
“Sales have been going great,” said Sean Corboy, 210 Cannabis purchasing manager. “Seems like we are gaining traction with the locals.”
More than 1,500 customers attended the grand opening on Dec. 10 and the store reported 550 sales.
On Monday, Corboy pointed out the store’s bestseller and signature product: $2.10 marijuana joints. The discounted joints have the quality of $8 to $10 joints, he said.
“We are trying to shoot for the best quality at any price range,” he said.
He added the store offers many wellness products, such as topicals, CBD-based edibles and tinctures, with an emphasis on serving an older demographic.
Damian Riley, marketing director for Angel of Winds Casino Resort, said the question for the tribe was “why not” open a retail cannabis store.
“It’s a great capitalistic venture and a competitive industry,” he said. “There was a local deficit in stores within this part of the region.”
Stillaguamish Tribe Chairman Eric White said the tribe had wanted to get into the retail cannabis business for years.
“It’s about increasing the tax base, that’s essentially it,” he said.
He said the tax revenue will go to support programs for the tribe’s 400 members.
The Stillaguamish Tribe, a sovereign nation, has a compact with the state in lieu of a license from the Liquor and Cannabis Board. The negotiated agreement outlines the guidelines for marijuana sales.
The state’s cannabis excise tax is 37%. Tribal stores must tax the same percentage, though tribes retain the revenue rather than sending it to the state.
In Washington, tribes with cannabis stores include the Swinomish Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Puyallup Tribe and others, according to Leafly, a cannabis industry website.
Kia Patrick was excited to take part in the new venture at 210 Cannabis. She was hired as a customer experience supervisor out of more than 100 applicants for positions at the store. The store employs 18.
“This is untouched territory for me. It feels like a blessing,” said Patrick, who has worked in the cannabis industry for three years.
She said another bestseller is the roll-on topical Dragon Balm, a favorite of grandparents.
Visit 210 Cannabis
210 Cannabis is located at 1309 236th St. NE, Arlington. Cash and debit cards accepted. No credit cards.