The first government-run marijuana store is open for business in Washington state, reports USA Today. The Cannabis Corner in North Bonneville is run by the town’s public development authority, which the town created to open it. The town loaned the store $15,000 to get the store going, a loan the authority has since paid back with money raised from private investors. Under Washington’s legal marijuana system — the first legal sales began July 8, 2014 — store licenses are handed out based on population and geography.
By snagging one of Skamania County’s two available licenses, North Bonneville ensures that government officials play a major role in marijuana sales, which they say will help them keep pot out of the hands of kids while benefiting the town’s bottom line. In a Q&A on the town’s website, officials note their lagging economy, property values and sales tax collections. The town hopes to persuade marijuana growers and processors to buy or lease land in the town, bringing with them possibly dozens of jobs. North Bonneville is inside the Columbia River Gorge, nearly 50 miles east of Portland, Ore. Washington state permits 334 licensed marijuana stores statewide, although far fewer have opened their doors.