Career pot dealer unfazed by legal weed stores

Career pot dealer unfazed by legal weed stores

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A black market pot dealer shares why his business is still going in the midst of recreational marijuana legalization in Washington state. (Source: KING/CNN) A black market pot dealer shares why his business is still going in the midst of recreational marijuana legalization in Washington state. (Source: KING/CNN)

SEATTLE (KING/CNN) - Legal pot stores may have opened in Seattle this week, but that isn't stopping black market dealers.

In fact, the move has some of them more open to sharing about the way they make their money. That includes Ben Schroeter, who has always been a salesman at heart.

An unabashed, unrepentant career pot salesman.

"I started selling pot at Rainier Beach High School in 1974 when I was 14 years old," Schroeter said.

Schroeter is so open about his dealing that he has a Facebook page, and even hands out business cards.

One would think that the opening of new, legal pot stores in Washington would have him weighing other options, but not so.

"I've always said if the government can put me out of business by legalizing pot, then I'm all for it," Schroeter said.

Washington state's plan is that as more stores open up, prices will go down and eliminate illegal dealers. But unlike seedy street sellers, Schroeter considers himself more along the lines of a wine boutique.

"All my stuff is grown in Washington," Schroeter said.

Where cannabis connoisseurs will go for specialized products and support their local dealer, all black market dealers are banking on the belief that police will leave them alone.

"For the same reason that people don't go to Walmart, they like to support their little local shop," Schroeter said.

The department's policy on pot is a bit hazy, but a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department says unless someone is dealing or using marijuana in an egregious way - like selling to kids in a park - they'll likely let it go.

Schroeter says he's experienced that first hand when approached by police while dealing outside a concert recently and was simply told to pack up and leave.

"I think we've gotten to that point where we have an attitude toward things, where it's not going to be a big issue," Schroeter said.

Copyright 2014 KING via CNN. All rights reserved.

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