It’s a cool, damp Saturday evening at 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. The tiny parking lot at Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop is packed to the gills.
The mostly young, mostly white patrons climb out of their cars, show their IDs to the bouncer, and slip into the glossy boutique. Inside, customers stock up on marijuana in almost every form imaginable: buds, joints, tinctures, elixirs, candies, breath mints, lip balm, and chocolates. There’s cannabis-infused body scrub, mango-flavored caramel chews, and gluten-free parmesan crisps. In the parking lot, next to a patio with mini cafe tables, an organic food truck serves vegan “fish” tacos and lentil-kale burgers.
Uncle Ike’s is one of Seattle’s most popular recreational marijuana shops. It’s got good prices, flashy decor, and, on occasion, a dapper, old-school van that shuttles customers to and from the hipster bars. But Uncle Ike’s is also