The Burg’s new pot store, Ellensburg Apothecary, open for business

Kyle Fenton, Staff Reporter

Rob and Diane Hendrix took a gamble August 25, opening Ellensburg Apothecary, just over a month after the first legal marijuana store opened in Washington.

POT SHOP - Rob and Diane's shop is now open and ready for business
POT SHOP – Rob and Diane’s shop is now open and ready for business

Ellensburg Apothecary is located along University Way next to the Red Horse Diner.

“Diane and I are very humbled and respectful of the opportunity that has been presented to us,” Hendrix said.

Hendrix said over a year ago his views of cannabis were probably not that different from a propaganda film like Reefer Madness.

“It’s a matter of education,” Hendrix said, admitting to how a year ago he had no thought of making a business and putting his life into a marijuana store, which is now licensed and open for business.

Everything seemed to fall into place for Rob and Diane after winning the Marijuana Retail License Lottery the Liquor Control Board held back in April, and Rob and Diane have big plans for the future of their shop.


Three Marijuana Markets:

When asked how his company is faring since opening in late August, Hendrix chuckled and started talking about the Marijuana market as a whole in Ellensburg,

“We’re only the tip of the iceberg,” Hendrix said about the black market and medical collective sales that he competes with.

“We are at a tremendous competitive disadvantage, and we will be all year,” Hendrix said.

The medical marijuana industry in Washington is an untaxed and unregulated market. It operates off of donations from the patients who make up the collective, which are basically set prices for set amounts of marijuana. This is similar to the black market, which is also untaxed and unregulated.

Hendrix predicts that the medical marijuana industry will have to become regulated and taxed, because it cannot simply disappear.

The state has a lot of money invested in I-502, “it has to be a success,” Hendrix said.

Hendrix went on to speak of the 88 cities and communities around the state that have outright banned marijuana, or are under moratoria with the I-502 laws.

“Therein lies the irony in this whole thing, people who are against recreational, these 88 cities, somehow they think that if they say no to legal recreational marijuana, they’re saying no to marijuana use as a whole in the community, and how ignorant is that?” Hendrix said.

Hendrix added that the Ellensburg Community has been real supportive as a whole.

“Some law enforcement people like the idea of getting it out in the open and making it transparent and regulated, rather than in the shadows.” Hendrix said.


Why Buy Recreational?

Hendrix says that the pros of buying marijuana from a recreational store rather than a classic medical collective or black market are greater than only state funding.

“Let’s look at the quality of product that is on our shelves,” Hendrix said. Non-regulated markets have no third party testing facilities that are inspecting the products that people are smoking. That means no guarantees that buyers have a safe-to-ingest product.

The shop tells customers the exact THC content that each strain of marijuana has. Customers will know the strength of the product they are purchasing.

“From a consumer standpoint, you are getting one hell of a good product.” Hendrix said.