By Victoria Jones, Copy Editor
Posted 1:20 PM EST, Weds., Dec. 7, 2016
Funky Piece Smoke Shop and Glass Gallery has arrived in Adams Morgan for all of your smoking and marijuana accessory needs. What started as an online store in 2012 by local bud enthusiast Matthew Bebawy, grew to a brick and mortar location after the successful passage of Initiative 71 in Washington, D.C.
Matthew and his cousin Mark Bebawy, who were both born and raised in the D.C. Metro area, now run the new shop that opened in early October. Matthew said he decided to start the business to follow a passion he had for the industry.
“Four years ago, I started it because I had a passion for the industry,” said Matthew Bebawy. “Things happened and I had a chance to take the business to a retail location and with the help of a family member, my cousin Mark, he was at a point in his life where he was ready to move from his job…and we came together and started the retail store in Adams Morgan a couple of months ago.”
Located between 18th and U Streets NW, Funky Piece carries thousands of high quality products to help customers cultivate, store, and enjoy cannabis. Some of their products include glass, vaporizers, dab rigs, rolling papers, growing materials, apparel, and more.
Matthew and Mark Bebawy have been on the D.C. cannabis scene for years and are excited to share their knowledge with anyone that walks into their store. So far, Matthew says business is going well and customers are happy with their shop.
“Some days are good and some days are bad, but for the most part, everything’s been going real well,” said Matthew. “Customers love us. They love the product. Our prices are very competitive, and each day we keep getting more recognition, so it seems to be getting better by the day.”
Matthew believes that they got lucky by being able to have their shop in the Adams Morgan neighborhood because of its marijuana-friendly reputation and the amount of people there.
“Unofficially, it’s known as the green light district,” said Matthew. “There’s a few other similar shops to ours and other marijuana-related business on 18th Street. That, in addition to, there’s a lot of [foot-traffic], so we really lucked out with the location. There’s definitely a good customer base that walks by every day.”
Matthew is also happy that D.C. now has a legal market for marijuana, but would like to see customers be able to purchase marijuana in a retail shop without a medical card. He also says that once D.C. gets a regulatory framework, he would like to sell marijuana in his shop along with the accessories.
“We would like to see a regulated framework for customers to purchase [marijuana] in a retail location without having to have a medical card,” said Matthew. “But overall, we’re thankful that it’s legal here and we don’t have to deal with any issues. We’re happy to have a legal market here. Our products, we can say that they are used for weed, because that is legal now. So, we are thankful for that.”
With the cannabis industry clearly becoming a growing success, D.C. officially legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older by passing Initiative 71 in November 2014.
The initiative allows anyone 21 years old or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and allows them to grow up to six cannabis plants with three or fewer being matured in their home.
The initiative also allows individuals to give up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21-years-old or older, but not sell it. People can also sell drug paraphernalia related to the use, growing, or processing or marijuana, which is what Funky Piece currently does.
Marijuana can only be used on private property and not public or federal grounds. Public consumption is a civil penalty with a ma fine of $100.
Currently, the District has five medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries are Takoma Wellness Center, National Holistic Healing Center, Herbal Alternatives II, Capital City Care and Metropolitan Wellness Center. According to the D.C. Department of Health, “Dispensaries centers may dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients to eat, inhale, or otherwise use medical marijuana for medical purposes.”
Currently D.C. dispensaries don’t sell edible marijuana outside of tinctures, which is a medicine made dissolving a drug in alcohol.
“None of the growers have a kitchen so there’s no edibles available in D.C. currently,” said an Metropolitan Wellness Center employee who asked not to be named.
As for the future of Funky Piece, Matthew wants to highlight more local artists and continue to add new products to their shop.
“For the future, what we’ll like to do is highlight more local artists, more local glassblowers, and more local people that make their own apparel,” said Matthew. “That’s another thing we’re getting into is to have more of an apparel line up. Just overall, looking for the latest, most innovative product.”