America's first drive-thru weed shop opens

America's first drive-thru weed shop opens
18 Apr

America's first drive-thru weed shop has opened - featuring a hidden 'soccer mom entrance' for people who want to buy drugs discreetly.

The Tumbleweed Express will open its doors to marijuana lovers on Thursday in the quiet town of Parachute in Colorado.

Bosses claim the process is 'as easy as ordering sushi' - as customers drive up, choose their order from a menu outside and collect the product indoors.

CEO Mark Smith told ABC News: 'Almost like ordering sushi, we're going to have paper menus were people can fill out exactly what they want and then give them to the security out there.

'That will be communicated into here, so they can prepare their order in advance. So really the drive through is hopefully just going to be a pick up point.'

For customers who want to buy marijuana without being seen, Mr Smith revealed a unique solution for the former car wash.

'There's a third door - the soccer mom entrance,' he explained. 

Mr Smith said the door - at the back of the building - is for the customers who 'want to drive up and get out without anyone seeing them'.

Buyers can choose from a variety of marijuana-based treats - and can ingest the drug in chocolate and caramel snacks and even drink it in punch.

'This is too big to fail. We're just hoping everyone supersizes,' Mr Smith joked, when asked if staff would provide a side order of fries.

'We have had incredible interest - people want to pay to be the first. I'm hoping this is not a novelty. I'm hoping it's not a one trick pony where it's only big for a week.'

General manager Gonzales explained: 'Some people smoke and edibles are also a really good option. We also have capsules.

'The edibles are 100 milligrams. They are 10 milligrams each piece so they are dosed specifically so people can monitor their ingestion.'

'We are serving a unique type of customer,' Mr Smith added. 'This customer will know what they want - they will have experience in this.

Tumbleweed Express had to get approval from the Marijuana Enforcement Division, which said the store cannot allow anyone younger than 21 on the premises, even in the back seat of a car.

Mr Smith confirmed that security will be checking all IDs to make sure people are 21.

Customers then drive up to the counter inside, where ID is checked again and place their order.

The business must also have security and surveillance, and marijuana may not be visible from outside the dispensary.

The car wash building will allow the goods to be screened from outside view.

'We think the drive-through is a very creative and innovative idea,' Parachute Town Manager Stuart McArthur said.

Marijuana accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the community's 2016 sales tax revenue of just over $1million, McArthur said.

'The really good news is that other businesses are benefiting from it,' he said.

Travelers stopping to buy marijuana in Parachute are more likely to stop at restaurants and other shops, he said, helping an economy that was hit hard by a downturn in natural gas production.

Parachute Mayor Roy McClung said the town's economy would have been in serious trouble without legalized recreational marijuana.

Statewide, marijuana sales brought in close to $200million in taxes and fees last year, the Colorado Department of Revenue said.

The store - which stays open till midnight - is expanding, with seven dispensaries being constructed.

Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, while recreational marijuana will be legal - as of November - in eight states.

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