America's First Government-Owned Marijuana Store

The Cannabis Corner is the only (but probably not the last) place where public workers are paid to sell pot.
by | June 2015
(Leah Nash)

Dead Head. Girl Scout Cookies II. Skywalker. Blue Magoo. Pot of Gold. These are just a few of the names of the product that a team of about 10 government employees hawks seven days a week from a renovated storage barn in North Bonneville, Wash. Just two months old, The Cannabis Corner is the nation’s first municipally owned pot store. Struggling financially, the city of 1,000 -- located along the Columbia River and just 40 miles from Portland, Ore. -- is hoping to make a profit selling little baggies of weed at $12 to $20 a pop. A public development authority like the one that runs Seattle’s Pike Place Market operates the store. The five-member board makes all the business decisions and plans to use any profits to fund community projects. The Cannabis Corner has a distinct advantage over its competitors: Because it’s run by the government, it doesn’t have to pay federal taxes. For now, North Bonneville is the only city in the pot business. But that could soon change. Four states have legalized pot and are setting up marketplaces to sell it -- Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Another five states are expected to vote on legalization in 2016.