SEATTLE — Shops selling marijuana products will remain open during the two-week shutdown period ordered by Gov. Jay Inslee, and as other businesses close, the shops have seen an uptick in business even as concern grows over coronavirus.
KIRO 7's Ranji Sinha visited Uncle Ike’s on Seattle’s Capitol Hill to see how they are handling business at an acceptable "social distance.”
For people who use cannabis as medicine, to calm themselves, deal with pain or just relax in tense times, the shop is a safe space.
“They have found success with cannabis, so we think we're essential for those people, Taigan Reynolds, Regional Operations Manager of Uncle Ike's, said.
That's why the governor said the shops will stay open.
“I think it’s essential, it actually meets a medical need, so yes, sure, I mean, you take it away, you’ll make people miserable,” said customer Ron Evans.
Reynolds says he's glad the marijuana shops were deemed essential, but that doesn't mean that precautions aren't warranted.
The shop is encouraging online ordering to streamline interactions.
“It will be packed and ready for them and (they’ll) get a text that it’s ready. Then they can come in make minimal contact with bud tenders, security staff -- they can pay for their product and leave,” said Reynolds.
Once inside, yellow chains and blue tape guide customers through the shop at a safe distance.
Uncle Ike’s has even set aside hours for seniors and others to come in and shop safely with limited exposure.
“Every Sunday morning from 8 to 10 a.m., we started our senior shopping morning. We allow those people who are higher risk and those with compromised immune systems to come in and shop,” said Reynolds.
As businesses across Seattle close, marijuana shops must meet demands from customers who rely on the products.
“It’s as essential as food, if you’re in pain, you know it’s essential,” said Evans.
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