SPOKANE, Wash. - It's like Black Friday for marijuana across the Evergreen State, as people started lining up outside recreational pot shops as early as Monday evening to be among the first to legally purchase marijuana.
Mike Boyer, dressed appropriately in a tie-dyed T-shirt, took Tuesday off from work to be the first person in line at Spokane Green Leaf to buy marijuana, arriving at 7 p.m. Monday.
"I am going to be the first guy to buy recreational marijuana here in Spokane," he said.
By Tuesday morning, a line filled with lawn chairs, umbrellas, pizza boxes and the occasional bag of Doritos had formed outside the store.
The mood was festive outside the store as Boyer led the gathered crowd in a chant.
"What do we want?"
"When do we want it?"
Nineteen hours; that's how long Boyer camped out in front of Green Leaf, waiting to make history as the first person in the Spokane area to legally purchase recreational marijuana.
"It's just been fun. We've been out here laughing and joking like we've been having a big old party or something," Boyer said.
Alex Rehberg was the next in line, claiming his spot at 10 p.m.
"I pulled up, hung out, got some McDonalds at like two in the morning and then took a nap for a couple hours," he said.
Rehberg's motivation to be one of the first in line was to be a part of history. And smoke pot.
"Of course I do want the marijuana, I do like smoking it. It's mainly the aspect of the new legalization," he said.
Across Washington, 24 retail marijuana stores will officially be able to open for business Tuesday, including three in Spokane, but only one of them -- Spokane Green Leaf on Country Homes Blvd. in north Spokane -- is prepared for opening day.
By 1:30 p.m. the line for marijuana at Green Leaf was stretching around the building with people curious to get a look – and smell – inside. As soon as the doors opened at 2 p.m. Green Leaf employee Chad Welsh stayed busy handing out two and four gram bags as soon as the store opened for business.
For opening day Green Leaf had eight lbs. of marijuana and limited customers to a max of four grams so there was enough to go around.
"Yeah eventually our prices should lower, it's just a supply thing right now," Welsh said.
Green Leaf only had two strains to choose from but expect more by this weekend.
"You know we are getting people in and out as quickly as possible and making them happy and feeling satisfied," said Welsh.
As for Boyer, he quickly made his purchase, securing his place in history as the first to purchase pot in Spokane. His plans for the rest of the day included going home to smoke some pot and then take a nap.
"I am going to go to my house and host a little after party and smoke myself to sleep because I've been here for 16 hours," he said.
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