Small Washington town becomes first to open government-run pot shop

SEATTLE (Reuters) – A small town in southern Washington yesterday opened the state’s first recreational marijuana store that is both owned and operated by the local government, officials said.

Cannabis Corner in North Bonneville, home to about 1,000 people on the Columbia River Gorge, will sell a range of marijuana products with all profits going back to the local community, city leaders said.

“It’s a really great solution for these small, rural communities that need to raise a little bit of revenue,” said Robyn Legun, general manager of Cannabis Corner.

“I think it’s a really viable option for other towns and cities like this,” she said. Washington and Colorado were the first two US states to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 under 2012 voter initiatives. In Washington, retail cannabis stores are regulated by the State Liquor Control Board under a heavily taxed and closely monitored system. North Bonneville hatched plans for the retail outlet in 2013, creating a public development authority to work through the permitting process and raise private money to build the new store, city officials said.

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