SEATTLE-- While the state continues to work out the details of the state marijuana dispensaries, another group has already been up and running for a year selling recreational marijuana.
Winterlife Co-op checks the ID of every customer to ensure they're at least 21. Customers also have to sign a waiver, but after that, it's as easy as a pizza delivery service. Evan Cox started the company last year with just $5,000. The company has grown to 50 employees and made $1.5M last quarter.
They receive about 500 calls a day and can be at your house within an hour. They have a city and state business license, pay their taxes, and for a minimum purchase of $50, those over 21 can browse their ever changing website and pick from a growing menu of options.
But is all this legal?
"What we do is defensible but legal is a tough word right now," said owner, Evan Cox.
That's because Winterlife and the handful of others like it in the city are not a licensed marijuana retail outlet. The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) is closing a loophole in the language of I-502, to make clear retail stores will never be able to deliver.
"I have a hard time separating [legally] the fact that someone goes to a store to buy it versus having that store bringing it to them," said Winterlife manager, William Todd Large.
In the meantime, the WSLCB said people who currently deliver are the problem of local law enforcement. A spokesperson with the Seattle Police Department said they are taking a wait and see approach.
"Obviously we're concerned about local law enforcement and we should be, but I believe we have a common respect for each other," added Cox.
In just one year, Winterlife has made 60,000 delivers, with not one police arrest.