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Hill Businesses Gauging Impact of Marijuana Legalization

by Andrea Swalec — February 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm 0

Just hours before partial marijuana legalization in the District, a pair of Capitol Hill companies is weighing the new law’s effects on their businesses.

On H Street NE, the smoke shop Island Dyes is expecting a surge in sales starting tomorrow, though owner Glen Schlow is careful to market the store’s dozens of handblown pipes and rolling papers as intended for tobacco use only. The shop even has a buzzing, red “No” button employees can slam when a customer uses two pot-associated “B words” — bong and bowl.

Like the pot-smokers’ holiday “4/20,” Thursday might be a big day for the shop.

“I would think we would see an uptick,” Schlow said.

Opened at 331 H St. NE in June, Island Dyes manufactures its own ultra-shatter-resistant glass pipes, which are so strong they won’t break if nails are driven into them.

Further south, the garden supply center Ginkgo Gardens is fielding inquiries about supplies used to grow marijuana.

Some aspiring pot-growers disclose to Ginkgo Gardens staff how they’ll use growing lamps and rock wool insulation, a material that retains water and can support plant roots. But other customers are sheepish about their requests, manager Tom Hammond said.

“Even if they don’t outright say it, you know what they’re looking for,” he said.

The 911 11th St. SE shop carries growing lamps now and may carry other supplies used by marijuana growers if customers want them.

“When there’s more demand and people use the stuff, we’ll consider carrying it,” Hammond said.

The voter-approved marijuana laws are set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. They will make it legal for adults age 21 and older to possess as much as 2 ounces of pot, use it on private property and grow as many as six marijuana plants, only three of which can be “mature.” The law also allows adults to give as much as 1 ounce of marijuana to someone else, as long as no money, goods or services are exchanged.

The District will move forward with enforcing the laws, despite opposition by some Republican congressmen.

“It is the law,” Attorney General Karl Racine said at a press conference this afternoon, DCist reported. “Nothing more and nothing less.”

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