WASHINGTON: The numbers are in: Seattle is planned to have 21 legal marijuana retail locations starting in 2014. 40 additional stores could dot King County, and there will be 334 legal pot retail locations allowed statewide. The numbers were announced Wednesday after the Washington State Liquor Control Board passed its final proposed rules on the legal pot industry. Insiders expect the new stores to be open by June 2014.
While it’s still exactly how many pot stores Capitol Hill will have and where they’ll be located, some changes in the proposals make it even more likely that pot entrepreneurs will find a home in the neighborhood. Responding to complaints that the planned 1,000-foot “as the crow flies” buffer around schools and parks is too restrictive, the board has proposed a change in the way marijuana-free zone will be measured. The new measurement will allow the permitted 1,000 feet along a “common path” between parks and schools instead of a hard-fast marijuana-restricted circle. The change could allow an area like Broadway to be in the mix for possible pot stores. The liquor board also decided that 1,000 foot buffers between pot shops and schools and parks would be determined by a common path of travel and not as the crow flies.
Looking back at pre-privatization liquor store locations may also provide clues. The density of retail pot locations will roughly resemble the density of state-run and contract liquor stores prior to I-1183, according to WSLB spokesperson Brian Smith. Capitol Hill had two liquor store locations in 2012.