While some municipalities in Washington State are banning recreational marijuana shops, one town is set to open the first city-owned marijuana store in the U.S. and possibly the world.
North Bonneville, Washington – located 39 miles northeast of Portland – plans to open The Cannabis Corner in an old barn on the city’s edge, according to The Columbian. Officials had to jump through several hoops before opening, including creating a public development authority and finding private investors.
North Bonneville will not be directly responsible for the store, and employees will not work for the city. Since the shop is funded by private loans, the city is free of liability, the newspaper reported.
Locals who are against the store cited the usual anti-cannabis arguments – marijuana getting into the hands of children and increased crime – but city officials said the venture is a chance to raise money, which will be funneled into grants.
The store could generate $2.7 million in revenues and net $225,000 in profits its first year, according to one analyst.
Because it’s owned by the city, the shop also has one major advantage over competitors: it doesn’t have to pay federal tax, which some MJ business owners say can cost them thousands – or even millions – of dollars each year.