While government owned and operated liquor stores are now a part of the states history, the first government owned and operated marijuana store in the nation opened in Washington this week.
The city of North Bonneville, which is situated just across the Columbia River from Oregon, opened Cannabis Corner in hopes of creating some city revenue by taking advantage of the states new retail marijuana laws.
“The economy has been tough for everybody, for small towns like this, it’s been especially tough,” said North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens. “And I think after people got over the initial shock of how we were going about it, they realized that what we’re doing is trying to create new revenue streams at a time not a lot of them are available.”
While the city North Bonnevile only boosts a small population 1,000, city officials are hoping that the retail store will bring more tourism to the city. City employees who run the pot shop say the more the merrier.
“We’re trying to be sustainable within this small community,” said Cannabis Corner’s manager Robyn Legun, “and we hope people will travel to the community enjoying themselves here and then come back.”
The first day’s sales hit just over $8,000 and consultants expect sales to reach up to $3 million a year at The Cannabis Corner. If that sales projection holds, the city could see an annual windfall of close to $500,000. It’s a huge sum considering the current budget is $1.2 million.