The "Walmart of Weed" is set to open in Washington D.C. on Friday. It will coincide with the city's eligibility announcement for medical marijuana growing and selling permits.
The store opening, weGrow, isn't a dispensary, nor is it a grow-collective. Rather, it's an outlet store for all things marijuana - just without the marijuana. "weGrow is not unlike a typical retailer in mainstream America," says the Huffington Post, "with towering shelves of plant food and vitamins, ventilation and lighting systems." The store also plans on scheduling classes on different growing topics.
The founder of weGrow, Dhar Mann, is looking to show people that their store is a step toward a legitimate community. Kush Magazine's Mike Marino had an exclusive interview with Mann last July, where Mann explained what makes weGrow so great. "There are companies that are making tens of millions of dollars from medical cannabis patients and they pretend that their products are used for growing tomatoes and not helping the patients that are making them rich," says Mann. "A lack of support and education not only leads to unsafe cultivation practices that unfairly put a patient’s safety at risk, but it pushes our industry deeper into the shadows."
Mann originally got the idea for weGrow after being kicked out of a hydroponics store in Berkeley, California for mentioning marijuana.
When the D.C. store opens, weGrow will have three brick and mortar stores: D.C., Sacramento, California and Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, their site reports that two others are on the way: Flagstaff, Arizona and San Jose, California.
Friday, when growers and dispensaries receive permits for cultivation and sale of marijuana, they'll have to sign a statement acknowledging that their license isn't an authorization to break federal law.
Such foreboding warnings had been given in other states like California and Colorado, where U.S. Attorneys have gone after dispensaries operating legally under their state laws. In the 16 states (plus D.C.) where marijuana has been legalized to various extents, proponents sometimes feel like the tug-of-war between dispensaries and the government will never cease.
According to Mann, however, "the end of federal marijuana prohibition is closer than ever..."