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Legal marijuana retail sales are being considered in Stanwood.

The Kushery is open, offering recreational marijuana products — for adults only — where the medicinal marijuana shop used to be, behind the Stanwood Police Station in downtown Stanwood.

The shop will hold a grand opening Saturday, March 9. At noon, Mayor Leonard Kelley will cut the ribbon. Owner Josh Shade plans to give a donation to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank as a way to contribute to the community. While other stores might offer giveaways at their openings, the Kushery won’t offer free samples — it’s against state law.

In June 2014, Stanwood allowed a medical marijuana shop to operate in town. But when legislation in July 2016 combined medical and recreational stores within one license, Stanwood City Council, in a vote of four to three, banned all marijuana sales forcing the medical marijuana shop, Fresh Alternative Medicine, out of business.

The council addressed the issue again in early 2019, and after months of listening to many hours of testimony, voted four to two to allow legal sales of marijuana, setting boundaries to keep it off the town’s main streets and away from parks and schools.

The Kushery is the first marijuana store to open in Stanwood since Fresh Alternative Medicine closed.

Shade also has Kushery shops in Lake Forest, Cathcart and Clearview. He said that he always wants to introduce himself to the community to eliminate people’s concerns.

“What I’ve always said is ‘Just come in, look for yourself and ask questions,’” Shade said. “It’s not a spooky, scary drug den.”

He likened it more to a store where adults come in and grab a six-pack to take home.

“Come in and make up your own mind,” he tells people.

The building is under video surveillance.

“Every inch of that building is on camera,” Shade said. “You can’t hide anywhere in that place.”

Staff take strict precautions of selling only to adults over age 21 with valid ID. The shop has a blue light scanner to be sure no one presents fake ID.

“We don’t want to sell to kids,” he said.

The Kushery enforces legal purchase limits. For example, according to state law, shoppers can’t purchase more than 28 grams of flower or bud at once, can’t have more than seven grams of smokable concentrates at a time, or can’t possess more than 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles. For details, visit the Liquor and Cannabis Board website at lcb.wa.gov, click on the Education/Marijuana tab.

The Kushery is open at 27206 88th Ave. NW, Stanwood. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Shoppers must be over age 21 and show valid photo ID.

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