Commencement Bay Cannabis
With a quick snip of the scissors, the ribbon was cut to officially open the Puyallup Tribe’s new Commencement Bay Cannabis (CBC) retail shop on a most appropriate day – April 20. Attracting participation from members of the Puyallup Tribal Council, the Fife-Milton-Edgewood Chamber of Commerce and area business owners, this happy occasion presented a big day for Fife with the opening of its first retail cannabis store.
Puyallup Chairman Bill Sterud had the honor of cutting the ribbon. “I want to particularly thank all the staff that have been working their butts off putting this together,” he said to the gathered crowd. “This will be a success for our community and all communities that come here to enjoy our medicine.”
“I’m really excited to be here today,” said Tribal Councilmember Annette Bryan, giving special thanks to CBC’s General Manager Stormy Guerra and the Tribe’s cannabis guru Daniel Duenas for their conscientious efforts in helping bring the shop to fruition. “I’m honored and privileged to provide medicine to people in this community – our Native people and our neighbors – and to provide economic diversity for our Tribe.”
FME Chamber of Commerce Executive Membership Chair April Balsley said that the Chamber is always excited when new businesses decide to plant roots in one of these three cities. “We’re excited for the opportunity to appropriately represent the first retail cannabis shop in Fife that has an amazing, upscale, professional business feel to it,” she said. “We’re confident that this business will bring great things to this area. I can’t wait for the coming months for people to come in and tour, ask questions and take a look at what’s actually here. I think a lot of people will be pleasantly impressed.”
To say that CBC is among the nicest rec shops in the South Sound is an understatement. Formerly the Tribe’s high-end cigar lounge called Stogie’s, the classy Stogie’s ambience remains for CBC customers to enjoy. From the moment that customers pass through the front entrance they are greeted by a spacious sales floor and high-end décor everywhere. There are soft leather couches to enjoy for those who wish to stay awhile, and big-screen monitors that are easy to read and clearly show the enormous variety of products for sale. Prices are competitive and the friendly, knowledgeable sales staff is ready to answer any questions to ensure the best experience for all CBC visitors.
“Everybody who comes in tells me that our budtenders and staff are so nice,” Guerra said. “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be open so I’m really proud of that. I feel like I’m part of a community working here.”
Guerra said that since she’s been working at CBC, patients of medical marijuana have really driven home for her the impact that cannabis can have in the quality of people’s lives – and how the passage of Initiative 502 opened up new vistas for seriously ill people, like those with Stage IV cancer, to manage their pain without the harsh side effects of opioids. Saying good-bye to the days of buying cannabis illegally has changed lives of people with chronic illnesses, including being able to afford their medicine now that inflated street prices are no more.
“I have people coming from Gig Harbor because they can afford to buy their medicine here instead of meeting someone in a parking lot and that means so much to me,” Guerra said. “Them telling me that they can afford to buy their medicine again brings tears to my eyes. That they can get the medicines they want and afford it makes me feel like I’m really doing something.”
Guerra said that she’s also proud to help break the cannabis stigma. “We’re providing safe access to cannabis and medicine in a judgment free environment at an affordable cost and that’s a great feeling.”
For Jennifer Reich, FME Chamber Board Chair and Executive Director of Mill Ridge Village senior community in Milton, the de-criminalization of cannabis, and the ensuing de-stigmatization of this oft-maligned plant, offers an opportunity for the senior residents there to learn about how cannabis can help them with their chronic pain and other ailments.
“A lot of our residents take narcotics for pain and one of the things we’re looking at doing is helping them to explore options for pain management that may not be as hard on their bodies or their heart,” she said, noting that a field trip to CBC may very well be Mill Ridge Village’s future.
Luckily, there are informational vendor days at CBC, where vendors come and talk about their products with customers. This is just one of the ways CBC is reaching out to the broader community for educational purposes.
“We’ve worked very closely with CBC management and we’re very impressed with the direction they’re going,” Balsley said. “We can’t wait to see the things they do in this community.”
Visit www.CommencementBayCannabis.com to learn more and to see daily menus. The shop is located at 5402 Pacific Hwy. E. in Fife. For further information, call (253) 517-7265.