VANCOUVER -- The prohibition against selling pot on the retail market is over in Washington State.
Early this Monday morning the state issued 24 retail licenses for commercial marijuana stores around the state.
Eventually, Washington will have 336 pot retail stores.
One of the first to open will be The Freedom Market just north of Kelso.
Monday the phone rang off the hook.
“Freedom Market this is Kathy,” said the owner, Kathy Nelson. “NPR here and now out of Boston? Wow!” she said into the phone.
Nelson is attracting lots of attention as she pushes toward Tuesday’s opening of her retail pot store.
“As soon as its readily available we’ll have it here making it available for the populace,” she said.
Nelson expects shipment of pot to arrive in the morning and hopes to open by noon or earlier. But supplies are tight and prices high.
“Supply and demand," said Nelson."We have very little supply and demand’s pretty high, so we get what we can in supply and have to price it accordingly."
A gram will sell for about $25. That’s far more than the $10 average her medical marijuana patients pay at her other business next door. Nelson advises those patients to continue purchasing through the medical program.
Still, excitement is growing as the hour draws closer.
“It's like the pioneers. The pioneers of pot. It really is,” said Manager Hollie Hillman. Once skeptical about pot sales, she’s now a big supporter of the industry. "I’ve been to grows where there’s 10,000 plants. It’s crazy seeing little tiny grows and then huge commercial grows that are just seas of green forests.”