The city of North Bonneville, Washington couldn’t pay its bills. So as state funding cuts loomed the city’s mayor, Don Stevens and Steve Hasson, the city’s administrator, clerk and treasurer decided to sell weed in a government-owned and operated marijuana dispensary to make ends meet. And their club has a major advantage over every other dispensary in the nation—it’s owned by the state and is exempt from paying income tax allowing it to easily undercut it’s weed-slinging competition.
“I sat on $30,000 worth of bills for six weeks,” says Hasson about the City’s hard times paying its bills in the face of cutbacks. “I gotta tell you, I was embarrassed. A government agency, of all things, not being able to pay its bills.” On March 7th the city’s revenue generation plan went into effect and Cannabis Corner located at 484 Evergreen Drive, North Bonneville, Washington, the nation’s first marijuana dispensary owned and operated by the US Government opened it’s doors.
The new shop should transform the city’s ability to generate income—especially since Cannabis Corner can outsell it’s competition selingl $15 gram bags from three Washington producers—below what most recreation shops charge, reports Oregon’s Williamette week.
“We’re government, so we don’t have to pay income tax, which helps defray the cost of the product,” Hasson says.
More from Willamette Week: Even though it’s competing with private enterprise, it’s hard to see anyone getting upset. Especially considering the reaction of other rural Washington communities, like Yakima, which banned all marijuana sales then stuck out its greasy little paw for a share of the state’s proceeds. Rather than goldbricking, as so many red-hued and green-starved rural communities have done in recent years, North Bonneville is embracing creative solutions to its problems.
“I see these other cities going to the state Legislature with hat in hand, asking for money,” Hasson says. “If we’re going to help ourselves, we’d better do for ourselves. It’s better that you have a survival strategy.”
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