D.C. Smoke Shop Owner: ‘I Know I’m Doing the Right Thing.’
Diana Alvarez’s son always wanted to go to college, so she started working in a smoke shop to earn some extra cash. What started as a part-time job evolved into a full-time family business: Lit City Smoke Shop, located in Washington, D.C. When the city passed Initiative 71, making it legal to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use, the law allowed stores to “gift” small amounts of weed as long as a customer bought another item. Now Lit City is part of D.C.’s thriving gifting industry.
While reporting a video for Reason in November, Justin Zuckerman visited Alvarez at her shop to talk about the hardships of running a small business that’s part of a new industry.
Q: What is your relationship with the police? Has your store ever been raided?
A: The relationship with the police was always good from the start. I would actually have a couple of police officers come by at the time we were selling tobacco.
What happened, unfortunately, was that a shop opened up next to mine and they didn’t have their stuff in order. I pay taxes. I pay employee taxes. I have a business license, a certificate of occupancy to operate here. So this other business, I’m not really sure how they were running things or what they were doing, bu
Article from Reason.com