New business brings marijuana competition

By Scot Pearson

New business brings marijuana competition

People's Choice Medical Marijuana Collective is now open and serving patients at 2570 Ocean Avenue, Raymond.

All this as Affinor Growers, the first medical collective to the area, celebrates their one-year anniversary this week.

People's Choice Medical Marijuana has opened their doors at the former H&R Block Tax Office, 2570 Ocean Avenue. And brings with them an alternate to marijuana for medical patients in the area.

"We will have 6-8 strains by the end of the week," reported Max Scholder, one of the co-owners of People's Choice Medical Collective.

The large open reception room is packed with information for medical patients as they are checked-in and then allowed to enter the product room with glass cases for display. With the current flower offerings as low as $10 per gram, Super Silver Haze, Middle Fork (a Dutch Treat/DJ Short Blueberry Hybrid), Blue Dream and Cinex are available to new patients with the promise of Girl Scout Cookie, some Kush and Black Berry Indica's in the next few days. And they will have a list of locally grown medical marijuana for patients to choose from.

"We are here to provide a professional medical marijuana experience to those patients that we feel are underserved in the county," said Scholder.

Casey Craig, another partner with People's Choice is working on the growing operation in hopes to become a recreational Tier III producer/processor, in one of the several port buildings that have most recently become occupied by the marijuana industry in Pacific County.

The group is looking at both sides of the marijuana business and is trying to get a position in the market as Washington Legislature continues to fine tune the marijuana industry.

"It is possible that we only have the medical marijuana location for a short period of time, as the legislature is looking to merge the two currently separate marijuana industries," said Craig, "And that is fine with us."

For the new cultivation industry, it is Senate Bill 5052 that will have the most direct impact to how marijuana will shape Washington's possible financial future. And with that, if all follows from the bill, April 2016, will be a new dawning for the industry as both medical and recreational marijuana will be under the same governing body the Washington State Liquor Control Board; with a special board set up for the marijuana industry.

One possibility for the new legislation is that medical patients may be able to get their prescribed medication from a recreational marijuana outlet if they have applied for the allowing permits. And medical patients will possible get a price break at the counter. It also places more restrictions on how the medical industry will allow operation of medical collectives like People's Choice and Affinor Growers.

Grower's Outlet Open for Business

And for the Recreational Market and new businesses like Growers Outlet and the already established Raymond recreational store, Mr. Doobee's, the future is nothing but bright and may also afford less of a tax structure for that market under Senate Bill 6062, which looks at taxation on the marijuana industry. The bill, in short, would bring the tax on marijuana down to a possible 30% at point of retail sale and do away with the staggering 25% tax increase at each level of the process (bringing the final tax to 75% at point of sale) as it is currently.

Opening their doors on the counter-culture, now Washington Culture, celebration of marijuana, 4/20, Growers Outlet started sales to the public after a long period of processes and construction.

Andrew Tessier, owner of Growers Outlet, located in South Bend, is the second and final Lottery winner in operation in Pacific County to open into the recreational marijuana market.

The shop was fully staffed as they greeted new customers and serviced vendors delivering additional products throughout the day.

"We have glass items, edibles, flowers and more for the marijuana enthusiasts of Pacific County," said Tessier. "We are trying to get high quality great tasting products at reasonable prices."

And with the soft opening, Growers Outlet has God Bud from JD LLC for $7 a gram.

"I would always like to be able to have a very affordable product offered like the God Bud we have today. And if I can make the right purchase that is what customers will be seeing from us. Good quality at a reasonable price," said Tessier.

Tessier said that one of hs goals is to some day be able to match the current Black Market price of marijuana at $10 per gram. The legal going rate throughout the state is about $15 per gram.

Taking on a few new vendors as well, Growers Outlet is reaching out to producer /processors in the region searching for that quality that they expect to offer the public. One vendor with Forbidden Farms, currently on record for having an estimated 90 strains in their collection, provided a short list of what was being delivered to Growers Outlet.

"We have brought out Ace of Spades No. 2, Blue Berry Muffin and Cotton Candy in pre-rolls for the store as well as Aces of Spades No. 5, American Pie, Blue Dream, Chernobyl and a high CDB strain, Skunk Haze," said Taylor Balduff of Forbidden Farms.

Forbidden Farms, a Tier III producer/processor, is one of the new players in the industry and is already making a name for themselves.

"When I started thinking about the industry a couple of years ago, I got educated and surrounded myself with a great group of people," notes Tessier.

The ex-electrician, now marijuana entrepreneur, Tessier rooted up his family and brought them to Pacific County.

"I have to give a big thanks to green Lady of Thurston County, they really helped me a lot, giving me a quick and thorough education on the business."

Tessier, like everyone in the new state industry, is hopeful that the future of cannabis will be more prolific.

"I wish that one day marijuana will be 100% legal across the nation," Tessier said. "It is hard being one of the first in a new industry. But it also shows others a new image of pot smokers...that we are not lazy people just sitting in a couch. We are intelligent business people starting a new industry."

Growers Outlet can also be found on Facebook and will be increasing their inventory as the weeks progress. Bring your cash as the debit systems are not running yet, but hopefully as the industry matures, it will only be a short time before you can use your plastic in Pacific County.