By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
West Seattle’s fourth publicly advertised medical-marijuana outlet has just opened. It’s the first one located in a mixed-use building – in this case, a senior-housing complex. Sure Can Access Point opened this morning in Arrowhead Gardens retail area at 9240 2nd SW, Suite 200. (“Access point” is a type of medical-marijuana facility – the “point” where patients can procure what’s produced by “collective gardens.”) After we interviewed owner Damon Grady by phone on Tuesday, he invited us to stop by for photos after they opened the doors this morning.
Though the name of the business didn’t surface till their website went live, this has been in the works for months. Last December, WSB received anonymous e-mail from someone who claimed to be representing an unspecified number of “tenants” at Arrowhead Gardens who were upset about what they thought was an existing medical-marijuana operation moving to their building. (We were not able to verify the tenant at the time, despite research including a trip downtown to look at the space’s improvement plans, which carried only the name of the architect.) Sure Can Access Point is not a relocated enterprise, but instead is the first-ever endeavor for Grady, who says he worked previously in the food business, as a part-owner of several pizza restaurants.
In our conversation, Grady sought to assuage concerns. In another e-mail exchange after we found Sure Can’s website last week, the residents said they were worried there would be a “smoking lounge” next door. Grady says there will be no consumption of their products – either smokable marijuana or “medibles,” food/beverage items with its active ingredient – on premises. By agreement, clients are prohibited from using the products any closer than 500 feet, though he says of course they hope clients will be taking the products home. He thought the residents might have gotten confused by an “employee lounge” area that he says was mentioned on the plans for his business.
While Grady says they have not decided yet about exterior signage, there is none at this point (the photo atop this story shows the entirety of the unmarked facade). Inside the unlocked-during-business-hours door to Suite 200, which is next to a small market on the north side of Arrowhead Gardens, there is a simple waiting room, which also includes access to the reception area, behind security door and glass.
Grady says that if a client’s paperwork all clears, they are allowed past the security door, and then past another door beyond that opens to the area where the marijuana is kept (along with a whiteboard “menu” showing types and prices):
The second waiting area also holds a case with glass smoking accessories.
We asked Grady why he has gone into this business. “I just want to be able to help patients get affordable medicine … that’s the biggest thing. I’ve had a (medical marijuana) card for a while, and saw the prices at other places … I wanted to have a place that would be affordable for everybody.” The Sure Can Access Point lists prices and types of marijuana.
And why this location? Grady mentions an “exhaustive” search that took months and included “a lot of rejection,” but ultimately, he says, “This place felt right for us.”
As for residents’ concerns? He says one woman confronted him directly but he feels the concerns are “fairly unfounded. We’re not going to have people just hanging out in front. … It’s a free country, and patients have the right to access their medicine wherever there is a legal access point. I want to be the best neighbor that we can be.”
Though marijuana officially remains illegal under federal law in any and all uses, it remains legal under state law – albeit “hazy,” as
our partners at the Seattle Times wrote in January . (The bill mentioned in that article, an attempt to make the law less hazy,
stalled in the Legislature last month .)