Mr. Doobees, set in the Dick Taylor Industrial Park at 2870 Hwy 101, the previous location of Terra Firma Cosmetics, is one property that will start to generate revenue for the port and for owner H.J. Norris. Signs should start appearing at the location by the end of this week.
Norris, the top lottery winner for Pacific County, decided on Raymond as a location after looking at several other Pacific County areas.
"I had looked around and Raymond was the first place to open up that I had applied for a lease with," said owner/operator H.J. Norris.
Initially operating under the name Apothecary Organics, Norris and the Washington State Control Board came to agreement of the new operating name after the Control Board found the name a little too close to the medical marijuana industry.
"I had the signs already to be printed, stationary and logos designed, (but) I had to stop everything after they told be that the name would not work. I went with Mr. Doobees," Norris said.
But for Norris, the inconvenience was a minor one when you balance it against the process of getting up and running in the new industry of marijuana.
"It is a lot more than just applying for the license to operate; people in this industry are putting up a lot of money," he said.
Where many think that the retail outlets and anyone who is connected to the new marijuana industry have their futures paved with "gold leaf", Norris is still unsure of the market. If his location will be suited for the business and/or the future of the marijuana industry in general.
"It is just so new," Norris said. "No one really knows what it will become in the next few years. I have only just rented a home in the area; wanting to be sure all would work out for the store before I look for a home to purchase."
The process to get his doors open is not really a new thing for Norris, having a vast business background in real estate and investing, but the industry itself is truly untested.
Norris also is one of those investors who has never tried the product that he will sell, but has many friends in the medical marijuana industry and knows several patients and can vouch for the amazing things that he has seen.
"I know one man who was dealing with skin cancer. He started using a cannabis based oil and made great strides in his recovery," tells Norris.
He continues to say how the gentleman, during a routine doctor visit, was surprised with the doctors' reaction to his self-treatment.
"The doctor told him, after his examination, that whatever he was doing, he should continue to do it, because he was almost healed. And that was weeks prior to the doctor's original prognosis."
It was experiences like his friend, that helped Norris decide that this was a business he was willing to try and place all his business acumen full into it.
"It was not an easy decision; sure I am in it for the money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. But I also did not want to be seen as contributing to drug issues that are already a problem in society," Norris said.
Norris has studied the marijuana industry, not just in Washington or Colorado, but he is also watching very closely the development in Oregon who will be facing a vote this November introducing the voters to another opportunity for marijuana legalization.
"I think Washington is doing a better job than Colorado, but I think Oregon will do an even better job."
With Washington state choked by a single lab for recreational purposes, Oregon already has a stand of operational labs that are being utilized in their medical marijuana industry and it will be an easy switch into recreational for them.
"Having only one recognized lab so far in the Washington Marijuana Industry process is slowing things down a bit," Norris said.
The Oregon Initiative Measure 91, will allow adults age 21 and over to have in possession eight ounces of dry herb, and the ability to have up to four plants. In Washington, only medical patients are allowed to possess or grow plants, (outside of recreational producers) and that might be in question in November for Washington medical marijuana patients.
Norris sees a merge of the two marijuana industries in Washington, and believes that it will provide for a better product and industry.
"The market is so regulated right now in the recreational industry," Norris said. "So many hoops to jump through and the policies are changing daily. If nothing else, a merge will set standards across the board. In some medical collectives you are not sure what you are actually getting."
Norris says that he has nothing against the medical industry; only that bringing the two together will only help improve the entire industry in Washington.
"I have been spending my days learning the required software that we have to use for the store. It already has modules built in for medical patients and sales. I think that the price will be a little high initially, but it will even out before to long. And It is my hope that if the two marijuana industries do come under a single control, that there will be consideration for medical patients to provide a more affordable price point."
Norris also discussed the tax with the current industry and feels many municipalities have kept moratoriums in place because they will not see any immediate revenue.
"The cities need to understand that it will come, and if they do not invest in the market, it may be too late," he said.
Norris and Mr. Doobees, are already mapping out where they will try to obtain their product after all final inspections are done, but believes that the current shortage is only temporary.
"I cannot contact anyone (processor) at this point until all the final inspections are done and I get the final approval from the Control Board. But after that, I plan to have as much as I see demand for."
Mr. Doobees will also have a variety of glass products for their customers and has interviewed no less than 40 artists to keep in supply.
"I did not want to have just some cheap pipes, I wanted quality. But quality that is affordable. I hope that I can keep my purchases as local as possible."
Norris and his Mr. Doobees have plans to give back to the community as soon as he can.
"In discussions with local law enforcement, I inquired about the possibility of some extra security from time to time. But I was advised that with the budget of the city, that could not be guaranteed. I told him that I would see if we could help that situation as soon as we can."
Not only is Norris pro law enforcement, but he is also community conscious and sees that this industry will be a very good thing for the area. And so far he is right, with some job creation being seen, real estate starting to move in sales, rentals and leases, plenty of new faces in local stores and the Port of Willapa Harbor drawing Nation wide attention.
Mr. Doobees plans to have a private opening and inviting local civic members, law enforcement and a select few individuals to come and tour his retail store and show them the process that he will be following.
After that, the public will see the doors open and be able to start purchasing.
The way that it is planned to work at Mr. Doobees is that a customer enters the facility, they are verified to be of age, are allowed into the showroom where there will be glass cases with "Sniff Jars" so that the customer can see and smell a sample of the product that they may want. They will be given a ticket with the requested purchase, move to a pay window where the identification is verified again, their order is filled, money is exchanged and they are out the door.
In many retail stores the product is more out in the open, but Norris believes that the samples and his layout will be more efficient for both the customers and the employees.
Be on the lookout for it will happen with little warning as the latest retail marijuana store will be opening soon in Raymond.
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