The Most Colorful Quotes From Washington State’s First Day of Marijuana Sales

A confused politician, a grandmother, and a marijuana aficionado walk into a weed store.

Jaime Henifin smells the marijuana strain 'Opal OG Kush' while shopping at Top Shelf Cannabis a retail marijuana store on July 8 2014 in Bellingham Washington.
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Brian Resnick
July 10, 2014, 6:24 a.m.

Could there be a more per­fect lead char­ac­ter for a story about the first day of leg­al marijuana sales in Wash­ing­ton state than a 65-year-old re­tir­ee?

The very first per­son to pur­chase pot in the Seattle area was Deb Greene, a re­tired grand­moth­er who ar­rived at 3 p.m. the day be­fore to snag her place in line — and his­tory. Greene walked out of the shop called Can­nabis City with a smile on her face and a brown pa­per bag that read, “Thank you Deb! En­joy your OG Cush!”

She also has proven to be a pop­u­lar in­ter­view sub­ject: Google News yields 5,200 res­ults in a search for her name (many of those com­ing from the pro­lif­er­a­tion of wire re­ports).

But Greene wasn’t the only col­or­ful char­ac­ter who showed up for the first day of leg­al pot sales in the state. Be­low, we col­lect the best de­tails from news re­ports in pa­pers across the coun­try. 

Greene ex­plained to The Seattle Times what she in­ten­ded to do with her new pur­chase.

Greene, 65, a re­tir­ee, said she doesn’t smoke pot of­ten. But now she could en­joy it leg­ally at her Bal­lard home, maybe with “Game of Thrones” on TV. “It’s in­cred­ibly lib­er­at­ing,” she said. “It’s the dream of every re­tir­ee, sleep in and smoke a bowl.”

Customers wait to show their identification while in line at Top Shelf Cannabis. (David Ryder/Getty Images) David Ryder / Getty

From the As­so­ci­ated Press:

Pete Holmes, Seattle’s elec­ted city at­tor­ney and a main back­er of the state’s re­cre­ation­al marijuana law, said he wanted to be one of the first cus­tom­ers to demon­strate there are al­tern­at­ives to the na­tion’s failed drug war. …

Dressed in a pin­stripe suit, Holmes stood in­side Seattle’s first and, for now, only li­censed pot shop, Can­nabis City, south of down­town. …

Un­sure what to buy, he asked the own­er of the com­pany that grew it, Nine Point Growth In­dus­tries of Bremer­ton, who re­com­men­ded OG’s Pearl. …

Holmes noted it had been quite some time since he smoked pot. He para­phrased a line from the South Park car­toon series: “Re­mem­ber, chil­dren, there’s a time and place for everything. That place is col­lege.”

Holmes elab­or­ated to the The Seattle Times that it’s been a while since he has par­taken.

Holmes said he planned to keep half for his­tor­ic­al reas­ons and en­joy the oth­er half when “ap­pro­pri­ate,” mean­ing in the pri­vacy of his home when he isn’t work­ing in any leg­al ca­pa­city. “It’s been a long time,” he said, “since col­lege.”

The New York Times was also sta­tioned at Can­nabis City near Seattle. The pa­per asked the shop­pers wait­ing in line what they might do with their leg­al dope. One came up with a solu­tion more cre­at­ive than simply smoking it:

“Maybe I’ll have it bronzed, make a trophy out of it,” C.J. Gra­ham, 22, a re­cent gradu­ate in bio­psy­cho­logy at Tufts Uni­versity who was vis­it­ing fam­ily, said of his pack­et of pot.

The New York Times also spoke with Ca­den Robin­son, a col­lege stu­dent, and asked him why he showed up. He said his dad put him up to it.

“My dad said I should come,” said Mr. Robin­son, a chem­istry and chem­ic­al en­gin­eer­ing ma­jor at the Uni­versity of Pu­get Sound. ” ‘Go make his­tory,’ ” he said, quot­ing his fath­er.

Ore­gon Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing was present for the grand open­ing of Main Street Marijuana in Van­couver. The event was cel­eb­rated with hot dogs.

Fol­low­ing the grand open­ing, vis­it­ors to the store are in­vited to at­tend the in­aug­ur­al Weed and Weenies event, hos­ted by Vi­ridi­an Sci­ences, a busi­ness man­age­ment com­pany that spe­cial­izes in marijuana re­tail. At­tend­ants can en­joy their hot­dogs on the street, but smoking marijuana in pub­lic is still il­leg­al.

The Seattle Times went home with Dami­en Till­man after he pur­chased his stash. Till­man was not im­pressed:

A med­ic­al-marijuana grow­er him­self, Till­man gave a neut­ral re­port. “I’ve grown bet­ter weed than that, I’ve grown worse weed than that,” he said.

“It def­in­itely hits you pretty good,” he said after a couple bong hits, but noted some rot on some Cop­per Cush flowers. “You’d ex­pect a little bit bet­ter bag ap­peal,” he said.

“That does smell good, though.”

Mike Boy­er was the first man in Spokane to pur­chase leg­al weed. Then, his em­ploy­er found out. From The New York Daily News:

“We don’t line up for Black Fri­day, we line up for ‘Green Tues­day,’ ” the 30-year-old told The News. “People camp out for Star Wars and donuts … this is more im­port­ant than that.”

He walked out with four grams of Sour Kush and high-fived people wait­ing in line as he held his bag of weed aloft, yelling “first cus­tom­er!” as he walked to his car and im­me­di­ately went home to get high.

Boy­er’s phone buzzed as he took his first few hits: His em­ploy­er wanted him to come in and take a ur­ine ana­lys­is test with­in 24 hours.

The test came back pos­it­ive.

(David Ryder/Getty Images) David Ryder / Getty

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.