Courtesy of John Tommervik at Joint Industries...
Washington State just issued its’ first legal marijuana business license yesterday. While this news creates a monumental date in the states’s history and makes it official, in reality – the Seattle legal marijuana industry has been off and running for months with two businesses selling recreational marijuana.
The Winterlife Co-op is a marijuana delivery service operating in the greater Seattle area. Appropriate for the outdoorsy vibe of the Pacific Northwest, everyone who works for the delivery service uses an name of a critter as an alias. Bear, Otter, Deer, Racoon, and Snowy Owl, to name a few. In addition, the business donates a portion of its profits to South Sound Critter Care, an organization that care of and rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife.
You do not need to be medical marijuana patient to order from Winterlife. All you need is an ID that shows you are 21 years of age or older. This information, along with a frequently updated daily menu, can be found on their website (www.winterlifecoop.com). For connoisseurs of cannabis, Winterlife is like a candy store. Not only do they carry a variety of flowers: Indicas, Sativas and hybrid, but you may also purchase marijuana infused edibles such as chocolate bars, truffles, and cookies. In addition, you can purchase vaporizers, glass pipes, bubblers and other accessories.
Winterlife is not the only recreational marijuana business already selling. Club Raccoons, another Seattle delivery service, uses bicycles as their preferred transportation. Club Raccoons does not have a website but communicates through Twitter.
So how is all of this possible? Aren’t these operations legal? Aren’t laws being broken?
This is where it gets a little complicated. In short, their is no law against purchasing and obtaining cannabis. As long as you can prove you are 21 years of age. The delivery service, on the other hand, is operating in the “grey area.” Technically, the operation is illegal. But for various reasons including - pot being low priority with the Seattle Police Department, and no crime under state law to charge the operation or delivery driver with – a blind eye most likely is going to be turned.
I met Wombat, a friendly young man in his mid-twenties, in late January. At the time, he had only been working at Winterlife ‘for a couple of months’ and confessed that the’best job he had ever had’ was a marijuana delivery driver. Wombat was well aware the delivery service operates in the “grey area,” but told me the business works ‘close with the Seattle Police Department.’
It appears the state of Washington does not plan on issuing any retail licenses to pot delivery services. According to Wombat, if the state does not recognize a delivery service as a legit marijuana retail business, ‘they have everything lined up and ready to go’ and will then plan on converting Winterlife into a brick and motor retail shop.
“Wolverine,” a marijuana delivery driver for Winterlife Co-op
Wolverine, a flannel wearing man who appears to be in his twenties, was super knowledgeable of all the cannabis he delivered. And he wasn’t shy. Despite operating in the grey area, he had no problem posing for photos with his stash – and smiling mug. In fact, according to Wolverine ‘Winterlife loves publicity, especially free publicity’ and he even plans on ‘dressing down in his underwear’ for a photo shoot and ad for the company.