Marijuana

Washington's Marijuana Regulators Pick Retail License Finalists

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Today the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB), which has received more than 2,100 applications for the 334 marijuana retailer licenses it plans to award, posted the results of the lotteries it conducted to winnow down the list for each locality. The applicants with the lowest lottery numbers will be first in line for licenses, assuming they pass muster with the state. In Seattle, for instance, the LCB ranked 58 applicants (out of more than 400) by lottery. Since it plans to license 21 stores in Seattle, the 21 applicants with the lowest numbers will receive licenses if they meet the state's requirements. If any of them don't, applicants further down the list will have a chance.

Licensees will also need local approval before they can open stores. Nearly 100 cities and counties have imposed temporary or permanent bans on marijuana businesses. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says those bans are permitted by I-502, the state's legalization measure. The jurisdictions with bans include Yakima, where the LCB nevertheless picked seven finalists for five licenses, and Walla Walla, where three finalists are vying for two licenses that won't be worth much. Fifty or so local governments, including Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma, have approved interim or permanent zoning rules for cannabusinesses.

One of the retail license finalists is Scott O'Neil, manager of Pacific Northwest Medical, a dispensary in Spokane owned by Sean Green, who received Washington's first marijuana cultivation license in March. O'Neil ranks eighth on the lottery list for Spokane, which has been allotted eight cannabis outlets. He hopes to open a store at 1919 East Francis Avenue, which is also the home of Green's Kouchlock Productions. The Spokane Spokesman Review reports that O'Neil "hopes to open the store by July if he can secure marijuana from growers who are slowly being licensed." So far the LCB, which received more than 2,800 applications for cultivation licenses, has awarded 25. The LCB plans to "begin issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July." As O'Neil tells The Spokesman Review, "The big question in the beginning is going to be getting product on the shelves."

Addendum: Some applicants have complained that they were excluded from the lottery for erroneous or mysterious reasons.

Addendum II: Green says he has signed a contract to suppy O'Neil with marijuana from Washington's first legal harvest of recreational cannabis, which he expects this month. "Scott should be the first one open," Green says, "since he will have the first product."

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  1. “Today the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB), which has received more than 2,100 applications for the 334 marijuana retailer licenses it plans to award”

    Why not award 2,100 licenses?

    1. Because then the LCB wouldn’t get to exercise arbitrary authority to decide who doesn’t get one.

    2. Allowing peasants to just provide goods and services without the state’s approval?

      Are you mad? Or simply drunk?

      Unregulated markets are the greatest evil the world has ever known.

    3. How would they retain power over applicants then? What are you, not an authoritarian crony scumbag?

      Seriously, the SLB got saved by the MJ legalization. They had just gotten pwnd by a liquor privatization initiative a year or two before, and I would bet a ton of money that part of the wheeling and dealing about the MJ initiatives was putting into them that the SLB got to regulate it, thereby giving them some control again. They essentially flipped from liquor to weed. And they were pretty pissed about the liquor privatization, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if petty scumbag bureaucrats are dragging their feet and reducing licenses to punish the people who voted to end their liquor monopoly. Plus, general CONTROL.

    4. Why not award 2,100 licenses?

      Because MJ is “legal”.

    5. Anarchist! Might as well say “why bother licensing transactions between individuals?” Ridiculous.

    6. Why not award 2,100 licenses?

      Because that number is evenly divisible by 5, and the resulting quotient freaked them out.

      1. winner

    7. Why not award 2,100 licenses?

      Because FREEEEEDOOOOOOM ISN’T FREEE!

  2. Licensees will also need local approval before they can open stores. Nearly 100 cities and counties have imposed temporary or permanent bans on marijuana businesses. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says those bans are permitted by I-502, the state’s legalization measure.

    I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that I-502 was really, really poorly crafted. A little too much “tax us, regulate us, set us free!”

    1. Of course it was poorly crafted. Allowing the Liquor Board to run things is the stupidest concession possible. And then allowing localities to have their own retail bans? Retarded.

  3. Dude, can we like roll with those punches or what?

    http://www.myAnon.tk

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