Pot icons Cheech and Chong will be on hand to celebrate the grand opening of the Puyallup Native American tribe’s new retail cannabis shop this weekend, according to media reports. The Commencement Bay Cannabis store in the Tacoma, Washington area made its debut on April 10 and will celebrate the grand opening this Saturday for the 420 high holiday.
The new store is located on Portland Avenue across from the Puyallup Tribal Administration offices It is the latest venture of Puyallup Tribal Cannabis Enterprises, which also operates its first Commencement Bay Cannabis store and a state-licensed cannabis testing lab, Medicine Creek Analytics, in Fife, Washington. The enterprise generate funds to provide “education, training and support for thousands of tribal citizens,” according to its mission statement.
Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Bill Sterud said during the store’s soft opening that the second cannabis shop will provide new opportunities for its members and the community.
“This store means a lot,” said Sterud. “It’s economic development at its best. It’s medicine at its best. It’s people getting together at its best.”
The shop sells a full range of cannabis products including flower, oils, topicals, edibles, and more. Customers may choose personal service from the retailer’s budtenders or use a self-service kiosk to place their order. Medically certified consultants are also available to provide advice to medical marijuana patients.
Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong will visit the store on Saturday to help celebrate the grand opening, with an appearance scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. The duo will be performing later that night at the Emerald Queen Casino, which is also owned by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
MMJ Consultants Onsite
Jeff Mullens, the branch manager of Commencement Bay Cannabis store in Fife and one of the dispensary’s certified medical consultants, was also at the launch of the new store. He said that when meeting with clients, a consultant “brings them into a setting to talk about the medicinal properties. So it’s a little more private, we get into a little more detail … when you look at the medicinal side they can actually start talking about the different terpenes and break down the plant and what it can do.”
Mullens, who says that “an educated shop is going to be the wave of the future for cannabis,” added that being certified as a medical consultant was a significant personal goal for him to achieve.
“I knew there was a medicinal benefit … that’s why I got into it,” he said.
The Puyallup tribe is currently collaborating with the University of Washington in a program to study the potential of cannabis to reduce pain and opioid use while improving physical and mental health. Work on the project is occurring at the tribe’s Qwibil clinic.
The Commencement Bay Cannabis grand opening celebration will take place this Saturday, April 20 at the new location on Portland Avenue from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. In addition to the appearance by Cheech and Chong, the festivities will include a live DJ, food, brand demonstrations, and product specials.