— Ansel (@Ansel) June 2, 2014
Seattle, Washington’s nine-member City Council unanimously voted to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. It won’t happen immediately: The hourly minimum wage will jump to $11 an hour starting next year for large employers like Starbucks, and then according to the Times, “will rise to $15 by 2017 for employers with more than 500 workers that do not provide health insurance, and by 2018 for those large employers who do.”
It’s high time that potheads get some respect. Turns out, when you make their vice of choice legal, they will indeed turn out to buy it on the open market, even for a higher price, instead of working the old, familiar backchannels. According to Mic.com:
When Washington became the second state to allow legal sales of recreational marijuana last week, Seattle only had a single store, Cannabis City, open for business. It ran out of weed in three days. Cannabis City opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday with 4.5 kg of marijuana ready to be purchased. By the end of Thursday, it had all been bought. It’s even more impressive when you realize that customers were only allowed to buy a maximum of 6 grams each, which means the store made at least 750 individual sales. …
Seattle wasn’t the only city whose store was a (limited) success. Top Shelf in Bellingham, which made the state’s first ever legal sale, set a new record with first-day sales of more than $30,000 thanks to serving more than 1,200 customers. It may be a surprise given how well stores did with their limited product, but not everyone is totally sold on the future of recreational marijuana in Washington. Retailers like Cannabis City have competition, both from medical marijuana (which is cheaper and often relatively easy to obtain) and old fashioned illegal marijuana (which is just cheaper). In addition to the in-state growing restriction, Washington applies a 25% sales tax on recreational weed, making it pretty pricey when compared to those other options.
The Western states aren’t the only ones making news on the subject of recreational drugs.