Business

Mary Jane's House of Glass hires full-time street dancers

Jeremy Cabitac waves signs on South 320th Street for Mary Jane
Jeremy Cabitac waves signs on South 320th Street for Mary Jane's House of Glass.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

To find Federal Way's newest head shop, motorists should look for the full-time street dancer waving a sign with a pair of bongs.

Mary Jane's House of Glass opened its ninth store last November in Federal Way. Based in Vancouver, Wash., the shop specializes in glass pipes, incense and scented candles.

The chain works with more than 60 local glassblowers to create its pipes and bongs, which range from simple and functional to full-blown twisted psychedelic art.

Located in the UW Medicine strip mall at South 320th Street and 23rd Avenue South, Mary Jane's is not a marijuana dispensary. No marijuana is sold on the premises.

However, the store offers perks for medical marijuana cardholders and military veterans, who each get 10 percent off purchases with proper ID.

Customers who bring in two non-perishable food items also receive a 10 percent discount. In the past year, the chain's stores have collected more than 30,000 pounds of food to benefit the Red Cross and the Clark County Food Bank, according to business partner Bobby Saberi.

Federal Way's street-corner sign wavers help draw more foot traffic to the store. On Monday afternoon, 23-year-old Jeremy Cabitac of Federal Way showed off his best moves with heavy metal music piped through his headphones.

Several cars honk in approval, and sometimes "a lot of old ladies give me weird looks," said Cabitac, who loves his full-time job at $10 an hour.

The Federal Way location is piloting the street dancer concept for the chain. In the coming weeks, motorists can expect to see the street dancers wearing costumes such as the famous Mr. Peanut. Saberi said the store wants to hire two more full-time dancers.

"It's a little bit busier when we have our street dancer," Saberi told The Mirror. He noted that, despite the city's ban on marijuana dispensaries, Federal Way has been a good business partner.

"We've been treated very kindly in Federal Way," he said. "Our client base has the right to smoke marijuana. At the same time, we are very respectful of each community we are in and how they would like us to market our products."

Last November, the passage of Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana use for adults. Since then, Saberi has noticed more interest and questions from Baby Boomers.

"A lot of these people haven't smoked in 20 years," Saberi said, adding that the chain hopes to expand in the Puget Sound region. "Now that the stigma is coming off, a lot of people want to be more informed."

In one sign of the changing times, the state's progressive marijuana laws permit paraphernalia retailers like Mary Jane's to refer to water pipes as bongs, rather than labeling them as "tobacco-use only."

Washington has until Dec. 6, 2013, to establish a system for licensing, manufacturing and selling marijuana.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, although lawmakers such as Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) have recently introduced legislation to legalize the drug nationwide.

Learn more

Mary Jane's House of Glass is located at 32044 23rd Ave. S. in Federal Way. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call (253) 839-1717 or visit www.maryjaneshouseofglass.net.

 

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