Richard Stewart hands a customer a purchase Friday at Kushman’s in Everett. Customers must stand behind a rope to create six feet of distancing. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Richard Stewart hands a customer a purchase Friday at Kushman’s in Everett. Customers must stand behind a rope to create six feet of distancing. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

What’s essential? Cannabis, and sales are brisk in Washington

Pot shops stay open amid COVID-19, with curbside pickup. And stimulus checks are coming soon.

EVERETT — It’s official. Pot is essential.

What’s up with that?

Cannabis shops got the green light to stay open as an essential service during the governor’s “stay home, stay healthy” order to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.

Liquor stores also made the cut. Not only that, the state loosened up so we can get a bottle or case of booze delivered to our door with a food order from a restaurant. Retail tobacco and vapor sellers can stay open only if they sell food.

Budtenders can’t make house calls, but a special state rule last week allows weed to be picked up curbside, and it’s encouraged as a safer way to shop. No, it’s not like meeting in dark alleys for dime bags.

All this is prudent thinking on behalf of the powers that be, not only in Washington but in most stay-at-home states where cannabis is legal.

After all, we are stuck inside with those we love and who drive us nuts.

If you didn’t toke or get tipsy before, maybe now is the time to start. For those in pain, or those who are just plain bored.

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation for substance abuse in your quest for ennui.

For some people it’s medicinal, not recreational. Whether CBD or THC, it has been touted as a remedy for anxiety, aches and insomnia.

You don’t have to put it in your pipe and smoke it.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be a threat to those who smoke or vape.

No biggie. Non-inhaled options abound: edibles, patches, butters, oils, tinctures, topicals and concentrates.

You can bathe in it and cook with it.

Pot brownies are oh-so 1970s. Ganja cooking has gone gourmet. Try a recipe for cannabis-infused lobster mac and cheese or laid-back latkes.

Be careful with those edible treats around kids and pets. And for heaven’s sake, don’t eat the whole bag.

Score some daily deals on herb. Bud Hut in Everett has “Munchie Monday” specials. Lynnwood’s Green Lady has “Friday high day.” White Rabbit Cannabis on Highway 99 has a rewards program for frequent highers.

Some states offer home delivery of cannabis, but not here.

It’s good to get out of the house, anyway.

For pickup orders, bring your ID but leave the kids at home. No one in the car can be under 21.

Don’t indulge until you get home, and after the youngsters are in bed.

Many stores have senior discounts. Some even have senior hours.

Those baby boomers who think they invented smoking dope are back at it, according to a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Blazing up, bogarting the blunt, inhaling indica, bonging the bud, smoking the stickyicky — however you say it, the conclusion is clear: Adults over the age of 65 are consuming marijuana at steadily increasing rates,” says a story in

The number of seniors getting buzzed went up 75% between 2015-18, the study reported.

One big increase is use by older women. Yep, that’s why grandma is so happy.

Just like everywhere else, pot shops must practice social distancing.

Kushman’s employees run a curbside pickup order to a customer while others wait in line, six feet apart, outside of the building on Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kushman’s employees run a curbside pickup order to a customer while others wait in line, six feet apart, outside of the building on Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kushman’s three Snohomish County stores limit the number of people inside. Barriers and roped-off areas encourage a distance of six feet or more. Customers are not allowed to touch products. No sniff jars (containers with samples of strains to smell).

“Our sales have gone up,” said Kristina Franklin, Kushman’s general manager. “People are smoking more than they normally do.”

Online shoppers get a 15% discount and a text when the order is ready. More buyers are going that route and stocking up.

“We still have our daily shoppers who come in for a $5 joint,” Franklin said. “Some of our regulars lean on the budtenders for support — they need that familiar face.”

Cannabis sales typically rise during tax-refund season, when people have more money to blow. The stimulus checks could boost sales, conveniently arriving just in time for “Weed Day” on April 20.

“I have no doubt people are going to take that money and put it back into weed,” Franklin said.

Celebrate with your Stoner Coloring Book for Adults or doing a puff ’n’ paint. Bob Ross is always a brilliant choice, they say.

Scott Rappold, a Colorado pot writer and former co-worker of mine, polled people about things to do while quarantined and stoned.

Here are some responses:

“Have you ever looked at the back of a twenty dollar bill?”

“I like to go lay in the hammock and look at the clouds.”

“Gardening, cleaning, video games, cooking, playing board games, all whilst nekked.”

“Get some old yearbooks out, start going through and switching around the 1st letter of 1st name with the 1st letter of last name.. idk I always thought it was funny … ps. I was definitely stoned when I did this.”

Disclaimer: This happy grandma was not stoned when she wrote this story.

Andrea Brown:; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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