Cannabis legalization in Washington State can sometimes feel like old news. But for Spokane Green Leaf co-founders, Todd and Kirk, that glorious, frantic time still feels like it was yesterday. Before they opened their doors on July 8th in 2014, Kirk and Todd thought that opening one of the first recreational cannabis shops in Washington was just a cool idea and a fun way to make a little history. They’d get a few customers, have a few laughs, and meet some new friends. Neither one of them had any idea that their decision to pursue this dream would dramatically change their lives forever.

It all began at a Halloween party. The two had bonded over their sons’ shared love of soccer over the course of a few youth soccer seasons. They were friends, but Kirk had no idea that sandwiched between costumes and candy, Todd, the mild-mannered environmental engineer, was about to suggest a partnership that was going to set their lives on a dramatically different path.

When Todd first pulled him onto the back porch for a quick business chat, Kirk was skeptical thinking that he was about to get an Amway pitch or something. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Todd wanted to get into the cannabis business, and he wanted Kirk as a partner. Kirk laughs thinking about it now, saying, “I was shocked. I had no clue that Todd was into cannabis, but he convinced me, and after talking it over with my wife, we were in.”

Of course, it wasn’t that simple, even after winning the lottery to get one of the few coveted licenses, there was still the matter of finding a building willing to take a chance on them and navigating the byzantine labyrinth of regulations the state put forward for people seeking licenses. Not to mention, they both had full-time jobs. Slowly but surely, every piece started to click into place, Kirk found the building that would house their first store, and Todd’s background as an environmental engineer made him well-equipped to tackle the extensive codes and regulations. At night after their day jobs and on weekends, they worked feverishly to make their dreams a reality; they wanted to be first. First in Spokane, first in Eastern Washington and first in the State. And they were. After receiving one of the very first retail licenses in the state, they were the first cannabis shop to open its doors in Eastern Washington.

Opening day on the hot, July morning exceeded their wildest expectations. “We had people lining up the night before,” remembers Kirk. It was all over every news channel. By the time the doors opened on July 8th, they had hundreds of customers lined up, ready and waiting to be some of the first people to legally buy marijuana in Washington State. Todd was floored by the response. “We had hundreds of people in line, 20 film crews and over 700 missed calls from news agencies all over the world.”

The response was so overwhelming that after the first year, Todd quit his job to manage the store full-time. Neither Todd nor Kirk could have ever imagined that this is how their story would turn out, but neither of them is complaining. Todd loves it: he laughs, “Who doesn’t like coming to work in a weed store? I spent twenty-five years as a stoic engineer, and now I’m living the dream.”

Todd, Kirk, and the rest of the Spokane Green Leaf crew would love to help you live your cannabis dream. Stop in soon to experience Spokane’s original cannabis shop. We look forward to seeing you.