Tsunami Marijuana owners Craig Johnson and Tom Pruitt were best friends in college. Now they’re partners in a new dispensary at 1555 N. Roosevelt — about half-a-block south of the former high school, in a building formerly occupied by the Seaside Signal.
The duo will close their store off of U.S. Highway 26 but may use it as a processing facility to make oils, tinctures, edibles and concentrates, Johnson said.
Johnson grew up in Shady Cove and settled in Olympia, Washington, where he has owned an electrical contracting company for 25 years.
It was Johnson’s parents who suggested he get into the cannabis business.
“My family was very open in that way,” Johnson said. “They grew marijuana when I was a kid. So it was just part of and always around my family. And then when it was about to go legal, my dad was really on me. ‘Aren’t you going to get a grow? A store? When are you going to get into it?’”
With legalization in Washington in 2012, Johnson started a grow facility and Pruitt, an “ex-casino slot guy,” at Emerald Queen Casino launched a dispensary.
“We happened to run into each other at dinner one night,” Johnson said. “He said what he’s doing and I said what I’m doing, and we said, ‘Why aren’t we doing this together?’”
They looked to Seaside, a middle point between Olympia and Johnson’s family in southern Oregon.
“I was looking to build an actual grow facility,” Johnson said. “When I was looking on (U.S. Highway) 26, it just happened to be one of those few properties in Clatsop County that you can grow on it, you can process on it, and then they said you can have a store on it. I really wasn’t looking for a store when I started it. It just so happened the county said I could open a store there too. I decided to open there and get all licenses for that piece of property.”
They started considering an in-town location about a year ago, Johnson said. “With so many restrictions kid-wise and spot-wise, there just wasn’t a lot available,” he said. “I looked at a lot of properties. When the old high school was closing this popped up as a viable property.”
Johnson hopes to have six full-time employees at the new location. Along with cannabis products, they plan to sell clothing, surfboards and boogie boards.
“We’re going to try and make it more of an ocean-like destination for tourists, but also make it the same comfortable location we’ve always had,” Johnson said.
Johnson will be among those in-house. “You’ll see me. I love being here. It’s like a retirement job,” he said.
“We are going to give our local Highway 26 people a discount,” Johnson said. “Being original customers, we always want to make sure they get a discount for keeping us in business for all these years.”