State revises recreational marijuana business rules

September 24, 2013

By Staff

Cities of Issaquah, Sammamish would get one retail store each

Final proposed draft rules from the state would only allow one Issaquah recreational marijuana store.

After hearing public comment on the drafted rules for marijuana production, processing and purchasing, the state Liquor Control Board released a revised version Sept. 4.

Coming two weeks after the city passed a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses, the new rules address many of the quoted issues the city had with the original draft. The revised version offers numbers for amount of marijuana produced, limits on production and specifics on how many retailers will be scattered across the state.

The rules include 334 proposed retail locations in Washington.

“The number of retail locations will be determined using a method that distributes the number of locations proportionate to the most populous cities within each county,” the revised rules read. “Locations not assigned to a specific city will be at large.”

The “at large” locations will be available to set up in unincorporated areas of a county and may be given to municipalities that have reached the retailer maximum.

“Once the number of locations per city and at large have been identified, the eligible applicants will be selected by lottery in the event the number of applications exceeds the allotted amount for the cities and county,” the rules read.

According to the Liquor Control Board’s website, King County will be allotted 61 retail locations if the board approves the rules. Issaquah and Sammamish will be allowed one store each, with 11 remaining at large, to be used in unincorporated space. Seattle will receive 21 stores.

Issaquah Associate Planner Jason Rogers said repeatedly that the city had sought specific numbers for allocated stores and production numbers before the city’s Developmental Services Department could feel comfortable bringing recreational marijuana business into the city.

“The big unknown in all of this is the Liquor Control Board has no allocation number,” he said in August of the city seeking a moratorium. “The fact that there was no clear idea for how much marijuana would be produced or sold left the city cautious of the state uncertainty.”

The state answered that in both localized and broad terms by also setting caps on statewide production.

The new rules “limit the total amount of marijuana to be produced at 40 metric tons a year and sets the maximum amount of space for marijuana production at 2 million square feet.”

Issaquah Deputy Development Service Director David Favour also spoke highly of the new regulation and said it was in the city’s best interest to seek a moratorium.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes,” he said about the regulations.

The Liquor Control Board hopes to adopt the new rules during its Oct. 16 meeting and begin accepting applications for all types of licenses for a 30-day period beginning Nov. 18.



If you go

A public hearing will be held on the revised proposed rules from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 8 at Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 Fourth Ave., Seattle.


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