Bud Tender turned advertiser, Marissa Aube, directs traffic to the latest offering of legal Marijuana at Sweet Leaf located in Central Park.
For Grays Harbor County, the latest recreational marijuana outlet, Sweet Leaf, has opened their doors and joins the five other stores in Grays Harbor trying to make a go of the new industry in Washington State.
Holding their Grand Opening on September 19, the store has been open to the public since early September. But on the day of the Grand Opening at their 100 Old Hill Road storefront located at the corner of Highway 12 and Hill Road, open seven days a week from 11 am- 8 pm, record sales have been reported as they greet new customers.
"Today we have topped all sales records so far, it has been a great day for Sweet Leaf," said Sweet Leaf store manager Mike Brown. With an estimated 20,000 travelers passing by on a weekend, the hope is that they will be able to capture some of that traffic and provide top shelf products for travelers and the greater Grays Harbor marijuana consumer community. Rallying to the opening, members of the Harbor Hemp Community showed their support and stopped in to see what the new retail store was offering.
"We currently have about 18 different vendors in the store from pipes to a variety of marijuana products. We have drinks, edibles and of course flower," said Brown.
To make their opening a little more inviting Sweet Leaf had live music from Vaughn Johannes as well as product vendors like Vuber Technologies with their latest vapor products, Cedar Creek with hats and t-shirts and plenty of product knowledge and Green Labs LLC, with non-infused truffle samples outside and plenty of infused product available behind the Sweet Leaf counter inside including their 420 Bar.
The customers were a steady stream during the opening celebration spanning from the curious still not believing that marijuana is legal in the state of Washington to the very knowledgeable end user who knew exactly what they were looking for.
"We see all kinds of customers coming into Sweet Leaf," notes Brown. "We had one lady, I would say she was at least 84-years old, who said she was not able to sleep for the past ten years. After she talked with us she tried a product from the store and reports that she can now get a good sleep through the night."
And for Sweet Leaf it is more then just the sale of marijuana and associated products, it is about educating the community in what marijuana has to offer in the various forms that it comes in.
"We are seeing an older group of customers in the store, I would say the average age is the above 40 crowd, but we have seen all ages over 21."
Miller likes the location of the store as it will give customers in the eastern part of the county another option and from the word of customers it is a good stopping point so that they do not have to go all the way into Aberdeen.
Sweet Leaf is also looking at ways to better serve the cannabis customer and has started using the latest pay option PayQwick.
"Basically PayQwick is a card that the customer signs up for, pre-loads it with money and that they can use at Sweet Leaf and not have to have cash in hand," explains Brown. "To my knowledge we are the only retail store that is currently using this system in Grays Harbor. People can learn about the system at the store, we can help you get signed up for it."
With the marijuana industry still struggling with a predominately cash only system, options are starting to come to retail stores and consumers and it will not be to surprising when Bitcoins will be accepted.
The staff at Sweet Leaf is very professional and vastly knowledgeable on the products that they sell.
"We provide a very inviting and professional experience for all types of consumers, from the curious to those who are very well versed on the product," said Miller.
"I think that the up and coming industry has great potential and more people will see the benefits of the products that we offer. Yes it is our job to educate the public about the industry, and there is so much more to the product than just the euphoria that at times goes along with it." Brown also related that some customers have already keyed into the medical benefits of the products and have noted that they purchase specific products to better serve their pets, like those who experience seizers. As the industry grows and the public sees more retailers like Sweet Leaf coming into the market place the word will eventually spread as to the extra benefits that people may find in the product. With the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board continually making rule changes with the business of marijuana, it was just announced that there is to be a new window open for medical and recreational merchants to meld together. Based on the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, the Board is now looking at the possibility of new Retail Licenses on October 12 with Public Hearings early in November. The Board further vanquished the 70% capacity limit for producers allowing them to fill their gardens to the brim at 100% of their licensed capacity. The specifics of the new changes can be found at http://www.liq.wa.gov/. Sweet Leaf is ready to provide consumers with a little taste of what they have to offer and stand by their own words; Work as a team, Empower through education, Earn the customers trust and Deliver superior customer service.