• Malcolm Smith
According to security guards, who are all wearing lime-green fright wigs, there were 150 people in line to purchase marijuana in front of Sodo's Cannabis City, Seattle's first legal pot store. And while they all waited patiently, there were far more members of the media, photographers, reporters, and camera crews clamoring for a shot than there were actual customers buying pot. You could count at least nine television vans, three dozen people with telephoto lenses, television reporters with coifed hair, all in a horde around the front door, waiting anxiously, like children around an ice-cream truck. The door was covered with tape that read POLICE LINE, DO NOT CROSS—obviously for theatrical effect.

  • DH
Because, unlike pot sales or big pot events for the last 70 years, there are zero police on site.

Cannabis City says they issued 47 press passes for their tiny storefront, but they ran out, with even more press clamoring for passes in the hour before the store opened, and the word on the street—literally, I was just standing out on the street—was that there's not that much pot for sale and it could run out as fast as the press passes.

The crowd is a mix of mainstream Seattleites with a few holdouts of the relic hippie pot culture, people who are rightfully there to bask in the achievement that they've worked for for so long.

But, as Ben Livingston and I reported earlier, this is not about countering the black market, not yet about a functional market that replaces the illicit one. For now, it's basically a dog-and-pot show.

At noon, the doors opened to the first customers and now the real test begins, to see if over the next few years, this can actually be the predominant model to sell marijuana in Washington State. I'll report later on the first pot sales and what, exactly, we found when walked inside.