2733 4th Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134
Why you should go: easy to access from downtown Seattle; quality flower; patient, friendly, well-informed bud tenders; standing in line for a few minutes to purchase legal cannabis is a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon: you’ll meet nice people, and you can talk to them about how you are there to purchase legal, recreational cannabis.
Weekend Review Kit was nervous. We’d heard a few rumors and read some reviews. We’d even checked the Cannabis City menu a few times to find that they were out of everything. But we are not nervous anymore. We are relieved. Cannabis City is a great option for buying a bit of legal cannabis.
Like most of the shops in the Seattle area, the outside is plain. Unlike the other local shops, however, this one has a line. On the Sunday before the NFL kickoff, one week before the Cannabis Cup in Seattle, the line wraps around the side of the building, and there are maybe 30 people in front of us.
The line isn’t moving, but as we take our place we see a man in a Cannabis City shirt and hat, and he’s moving. His hands. A lot.
“So it’ll just be a few more minutes, and we’ll start letting people in again.”
“They’re taking stock of inventory,” the woman we’re behind tells us. She and her husband have come from outside Seattle to try Cannabis City for the first time. Just to be sure, in case it has changed since five minutes ago on the train, we check the menu online and see that they’ve got joints today, five different kinds, and two-gram bags of a sativa, Alice in Wonderland, all produced by Cannasol Farms in Okanogan, Washington.
Two of their friends show up, a sister in a satin blouse and a brother-in-law in a blue sport coat; they’re going to a party and own a grilled cheese truck. They aren’t actually here to buy anything, just wanted to see their friends waiting in line.
“There’s always a line here,” the sister tells us. Like several other people we meet while waiting they have another connection, something much cheaper and less legal, and they offer to provide his phone number. Of course WRK certainly appreciates the hospitality, but WRK is in the business of reviewing legal cannabis sales. WRK believes in supporting legal cannabis. Though we are sure your friend Alex is the best.
(And, seriously, coming in December, reviews of your friend Alex.)
They let in three groups of people at a time. The line moves fast, but once inside you don’t feel rushed, you get the time you need with the bud tenders to have your questions answered, and there is plenty of counter space. When we ask the woman at the register if she can tell us something about what they have for sale, she takes us through each option and explains the overall effect as well as general strength of the strain. The store is well lit and clean, and there are glass pipes and bongs at every register. Both the joints and the bags arrive pre-packaged, so at the moment none of the shops in the Seattle area can offer customers the opportunity to decide the amount they purchase.
The glassware for sale at Cannabis City is produced by Special K, and most is made using recycled materials. The pieces are handmade and signed and dated by the artist. It’s a nice touch and the only real option a consumer has for bringing home a souvenir from their first trip to a legal cannabis store, as the law forbids these recreational shops in Washington from selling t-shirts or coffee mugs or anything else that every other legitimate business in this country is allowed to sell.
Cannabis City is upfront about the supply and demand problems they face, and they work hard to accurately represent their menu online. On two trips we found exactly what we expected, and, though some of the other shops in the area might have more options, Cannabis City is a block and a half from the SODO light rail stop. Every other shop in the area requires a car or multiple buses. When you consider convenience of location, it seems like a miracle they would have anything at all.
Both trips produced quality flowers, and Cannabis City was the only shop we visited all week that had CO2 cartridges. WRK waited in line behind a person interested in trying the concentrate for the first time. The bud tender took her time explaining the process by which it was made as well as the increased potency, that it would be twice as strong as anything else in the store.
The Alice in Wonderland was a particularly strong sativa, and we are sure it was appreciated by not only WRK but also the janitorial staff at our hotel, who greatly benefited from the intense writing and room cleaning sessions that always seem to accompany our time with Alice.
Are there things that could be better about the shops in Washington? Sure. It will be a bit more expensive than you’re used to and sometimes you can’t get as much as you want. However, having visited all the shops in the Seattle area, it is WRK’s belief that these business owners are all doing their best with the limitations inherent to the current system. WRK is confident that these are just the natural roadblocks on the way to the end of cannabis prohibition, but we don’t feel that it is fair to grade these shops when so much of what they can offer is beyond their control. Therefore, we are giving “five kits” to shops as long as they present a clean store, friendly and informed assistance, and accurately-described product. Instead of offering a simple, somewhat arbitrary grade, WRK will do our best to thoughtfully represent what to expect when visiting a Washington recreational cannabis business.