Nestled between Burgermaster and Quiring Monuments Custom Headstones is Seattle's third legal weed shop, Ocean Greens. I stopped by 9724 Aurora Avenue North yesterday at 4:20 p.m. to watch them make their first sales. It wasn't a prohibition-style street party or anything; the grand opening isn't until October 18. The first Ocean Greens customers I encountered were an elderly couple with paper cups of gas station coffee making their way to their car.
- Ocean Greens owner Oltion Hyseni on the left.
The gas fireplace and the employees chatting with a small, unhurried handful of customers gave the opening the atmosphere of a party in a living room—the living room of someone who happens to like paintings of naked ladies made of pot plants. Ocean Greens is in a former Thai restaurant, and there's a hardwood bar that's belonged to the space since the '60s. There were a variety of vintage lighters, including one shaped like a passenger plane. Hyseni is from Armenia, and before acquiring Ocean Greens, he worked primarily in real estate. He circulated the room, striking up conversations.
When a cheerful employee at the bar (bathed in neon green light) told me there would be flowers within an hour, I decided to stick around. I was in the parking lot when the car bearing weed arrived. A guy in Seahawks gear popped the trunk and the entire parking lot was awash in pot fragrance. I was surprised I didn’t get high from standing there. It took four people to carry the packed boxes into the store.
I met a guy who had just moved to Seattle from New England. I initially assumed he was really high or possibly just bored, until a brief interaction revealed he was in awe. A guy wearing Marvel superhero-print pajama pants and a Superman T-shirt was perusing the bongs with a woman in Hulk sneakers. When I told them I'd love to take their picture, the guy said, “I'd love that, too, but because of my job I'd better not.” I overheard more than one person murmur, “This is awesome.”