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First marijuana retailer licenses issued; Federal Way moratorium continues

The city of Federal Way has a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses through November. - Courtesy Of Sensible Washington
The city of Federal Way has a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses through November.
— image credit: Courtesy Of Sensible Washington

The Washington State Liquor Control Board issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses this week, which were granted to businesses from Bellingham to Wenatchee to Seattle to Spokane.

According to the board, “once approved for the license(s), producers and/or processors are able to file a required manifest for transporting to retail locations.” The retailers “may begin selling marijuana at their discretion following receipt of product and entering it in to the traceability system.”

The board notes that these first 24 are drawn from 334 approved licenses. The locations receiving the licenses “were selected by taking into account population, geographic dispersion and the individual applicant’s readiness to be licensed.”

In Federal Way, the city is still exploring how to address the issue of retail marijuana businesses. Federal Way was approved for three licenses within city limits, but has had a moratorium on the issue since last November. Last month, the city revisited the issue, exploring regulation and possibly banning such businesses.

“Nothing here is set in stone,” City Assistant Attorney Peter Beckwith said during the June 17 Council meeting. Beckwith said the city could pursue three options: mostly doing nothing, which would leave the issue in the hands of the city and the mayor’s office; implementing a ban on such businesses, which Pierce County has essentially already done; or regulate, which are options that Seattle and Des Moines have begun exploring.

Councilwoman Dini Duclos was in favor of regulating, citing a desire for the city to be able to take advantage of the anticipated tax revenues from the new businesses, while Councilman Bob Celski thought the door should stay open to consider an outright ban because of the continued gray area in the interaction between the state’s law and federal law.

The 24 businesses granted the first round of retail licenses are:

• Whidbey Island Cannabis Company, in Langley

• Westside 420 Recreational, in Longview

• Verde Valley, in Union Gap

• Top Shelf Cannabis, in Bellingham

• The Happy Crop Shoppe, in East Wenatchee

• Spokane Green Leaf, in Spokane

• Space, in Tacoma

• Sartori/Instant Karma, in Spokane

• New Vansterdam, in Vancouver

• Margie’s Pot Shot, in Bingen

• Main Street Marijuana, in Vancouver

• High Time Station, in Ephrata

• Green Theory, in Bellevue

• Green Star Cannabis, in Spokane

• Freedom Market, in Kelso

• Creative Retail Management, in Tacoma

• Cascade Kropz, in Arlington

• Cannabis City, in Seattle

• Bud Hut, on Camano Island

• Austin Lott, in Winthrop

• Altitude, in Prosser

• 4US Retail, in Okanogan

• 420 Carpenter, in Lacey

• 2020 Solutions, in Bellingham

To learn more, visit liq.wa.gov.

 

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