Published online: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 Print: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
PORT ORCHARD — Terry Roden has never been high, and his wife, Darlene Roden, hasn’t had marijuana since her youth in the 1970s, she said.
The couple, who are in their early 50s, walked into Kitsap County’s first retail marijuana store, Crockpot, as the first big wave of customers had cleared out 30 minutes after the doors opened at 10 a.m. Sunday in Port Orchard.
The Rodens, who own a manufacturing company in Texas, have lived in their Port Orchard summer home for about six months, Darlene said.
Sunday morning they stood at one of five windows inside Crockpot, asking questions about the three strains for sale, before deciding on the Blue Dream and Querkle. The third, Girl Scout Cooking, has a mint flavor, which Darlene doesn’t like, she said.
The Blue Dream strand was the most popular of Crockpot’s options Sunday, according to Colette Thomas, a Crockpot store manager.
“It’s obvious they know what they are selling,” Darlene said.
The Rodens don’t smoke and won’t be lighting up though. They will be trying their hand at baking edibles, Darlene said.
While they had expected a long line at Crockpot, they were pleasantly surprised with the ease of their first legal marijuana purchase, they said.
Although Crockpot didn’t sell out of its 5 pounds of marijuana stock, owner Randy Jones said he wasn’t sure how much he still had left Sunday evening. The store will open again at 9 a.m. Tuesday and be open until 8 p.m., according to Jones.
The Rodens weren’t the only ones expecting a crowd on the first day at Crockpot.
Aaron Boyington, 22, of Port Orchard, showed up at 7 a.m. to beat the masses and to be first in line.
When Crockpot employees unlocked the doors at 10 a.m., Boyington and nearly 20 other customers were waiting outside.
“I wanted to get here before the whole rush started. I assumed there would be a rush but didn’t think it would be quite as light as it was,” Boyington said.
Boyington hadn’t visited any of the other Seattle marijuana businesses, waiting for his local store to open, he said.
He also said that being first in line during the “historic day” for the community was a big deal for him.
“I am the only person that was first in line for the first pot shop in Port Orchard,” he said.
Boyington was not only the first in line at Crockpot, he was the first to legally buy 2 grams of marijuana — the Girl Scout Cooking strain — in the county.
Crockpot customers were buying marijuana for around $15-$16 a gram Sunday. Some Seattle stores were selling marijuana for about $20 a gram when they opened early last month, according to the Seattle Times.
Boyington acknowledges the prices are higher than the black market — about $11-$12 a gram — but that as the supply increases the prices will decrease.
“It’s just something we have to deal with right now. It’ll smooth out,” he said.
While retail marijuana customers must be 21 or older, a majority of those standing in line outside Crockpot’s front door appeared to be middle-age men, although a few women waited as well.
At 22 years old, Boyington looked like the youngest in line.
The second in line, Kevin Gardner, looked old enough to be Boyington’s father.
Gardner showed up not long after Boyington arrived, although he might have been first had he and his GPS not had issues finding the new store that is tucked into the back corner of the Sedgwick Plaza off Bethel Road. It’s front door sits between a tattoo parlor and a state Department of Licensing office.
Gardner had seen the Seattle stores selling out of marijuana and decided to wait until Kitsap opened its own store, he said.
“I’d waited this many years, what’s another week, month, whatever it takes to get it here,” he said.
Plus, it’s much more convenient, Gardner said.