Street-level dealer tries to poach customers outside legal pot shop in Seattle

SEATTLE -- It's happening in Seattle at Cannabis City, the first retail marijuana shop to open its doors in King County, and now it's turned violent.

Buyers stand in line at Cannabis City in the Seattle's Sodo district to buy recreational marijuana -- and that's easy pickings for a drug dealer looking for new customers.

"We want safe access for people and, of course, no one visiting from out-of-town really wants to be approached by someone to purchase some pot out of their car. That's why they came to a recreational facility to get it in the first place,” Cannabis City manager Amber McGowan said.

On Saturday, the man came around at closing time and wasn't at all happy when an employee asked him to leave.

"He had approached him and, actually, threw some punches, and so we have definitely involved the police. When it gets physical, it's just not, it's just not fun for anyone” McGowan said.

"Many officers have been to calls of one drug dealer reporting on the other, now this time one of them is totally legal,” Seattle police detective Drew Fowler said.

Police say, if caught, the man could face felony drug-dealing charges.

Police want all legal shops to be on the lookout for this guy.

He's been seen driving a late-model maroon Buick Century.

"Every time we see him, we just call the cops, unfortunately, and hopefully he will able to be caught and we won't have to deal with this situation anymore,” McGowan said.

The federal government agreed to turn a blind eye to legal marijuana, as long as it helped dry up the black market -- and for the most part it seems to be working.

Customers we spoke with say they would rather buy it legally, in a store, so they know exactly what they are getting.

"As opposed to buying it from some random guy on the street. I wouldn't buy a DVD player from some guy on the street but I'd go into Best Buy to get a DVD player,” Cannabis City customer Tom Lawless said.

"It's not my profit margin that I'm concerned about; it's the reputation of the marijuana industry itself. We really want to strive to be legal. We voted for it,” McGowan said.

Cannabis City has all kinds of security measures on the inside but just a camera outside. They do, however, keep a security guard posted at the door to protect the business and customers, too.