Marijuana store in rural Elma hopes to showcase retail experience

Cutie Judy’s Cannabis Company opened Sept. 12

Rural Elma has a new retail marijuana store.

Cutie Judy’s Cannabis Company has opened at the old Value Ford location and Cdi showroom on Highway 8, just outside of town. The co-owner is David Anderson, who also co-owns Zia, another recreational marijuana store in Hoquiam.

Anderson’s business partner for the East County store is Russell McGregor who is the president of the Olympia Hempfest. (Anderson has a different business partner at Zia).

Like Zia, Anderson hopes Cutie Judy Cannabis Company can offer an accessible location, a wide selection and incomparable customer service.

Zia supplies products from 25-30 farms. Cutie Judy’s currently has products from 13 farms, but Anderson said the goal is to get the stock and variety to match that of his Hoquiam store.

Products go for as low as $5 for edibles or $6 for a gram of marijuana. The store also carries concentrates, lotions and rubs, and teas, as well as different types of hardware.

“We’ve tried to listen to our customers, and if they come in and there’s a product that they like, we definitely listen to them and see if we can help find it for them,” Anderson said. “Customers aren’t shy. They’re going to let you know what they like.”

While there are bags of marijuana in the storefront, Anderson sounds more like a family man in his office. In fact, the name Cutie Judy is directly tied to his family.

“Judy is my mom. My whole life, I’ve called my mom Cutie Judy,” Anderson said. “When we were getting ready to open this store, my wife TracyLee said we should name it Cutie Judy’s Cannabis Company, and I was like, ‘OK, you call mom and ask her.’ And my mom said, ‘Of course — but I want a T-shirt and I’m going to wear it to the casino and tell them that’s mine.’”

A longtime manager for Discount Tire, Anderson walked away to chase the American Dream — success and entrepreneurship. And he found it.

“It really is like living the dream,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot of work, but at the same time, it’s not like coming to work. I’ve always been a people person, and we’re in the people business. When people come in here, they’re usually in a good mood — it’s not like they had a blowout and they need to get new tires.”

Anderson hopes the location along the eastbound lanes of Highway 8, will prove an accessible and safe location.

“We want this to be an inviting, easy and safe environment for our customers,” Anderson said. “There still is a stigma on the recreational cannabis industry, and some people don’t want their neighbors or family member to see them. It’s nice that you can come out here and get in and get out.”

Anderson opened Zia in May 2015 (he’s quick to point out that he received his retail marijuana license on April 20, 2015). More than a year later, he opened Cutie Judy’s Cannabis Company on Sept. 12.

“We’ve been open a couple of weeks. It’s going about as good as can be expected,” he said. “As people find out we’re here, they’re coming.”

It can be a lucrative business. Zia boasts 300 paying customers per day, and Anderson said some 400 people total come and go every day.

Despite being unable to take credit or debit cards, Anderson said retail marijuana is like any other business (aside from the 37 percent excise tax and the 8 percent sales tax). And Cutie Judy’s is prepared with an ATM on site. .

Cutie Judy’s Cannabis is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

“There are a lot of choices out there, and we want people to come by and see what we have to offer,” Anderson said. “When they come in, they’re going to always be treated right.”