Higher Leaf To Open 2nd Pot Shop in Bellevue WA

WASHINGTON: Washington cannabis licensee Higher Leaf  has announced it will open its second recreational marijuana store in Bellevue, WA  in early 2017. Construction on the new site has been underway since the fall and final inspections by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the City of Bellevue will occur within the next few weeks. Higher Leaf’s first store is located in Kirkland.

Higher Leaf will be the first marijuana store to open in Bellevue since February 2015, despite a recent Bellevue City Council ordinance limiting marijuana retailers in the city. Higher Leaf is the fourth marijuana retailer to open in Bellevue.  Higher Leaf in Kirkland is already the most popular store on the east side (per state sales data) and the 6th most popular store in the state.  With the second location opening in Bellevue, Higher Leaf becomes the first multi-store chain to operate on the Eastside. The store’s street entrance is located next to the drive-through Starbucks on 156th Ave SE and is just down the road from the Washington State Patrol office.

The Bellevue location is a bright, open retail space with six points of sale. Visitors can park on site or take advantage of several area bus stops within walking distance. The new store will stock many of the same vendors currently available at Higher Leaf in Kirkland and customers can expect the same high level of service that they have come to expect from Higher Leaf and they may see a few familiar faces from the Kirkland shop.

MJNewsNetwork had the chance to ask owner Molly Honig a few question about the new store:

Q: You’ve been quite successful in your Kirkland store.  How will you tailor your experience and inventory to map to Bellevue’s demographics.   

A:  We think consistency is important to customers and we will strive to carry many of our most popular products from our Kirkland store in our Bellevue as well. However, we certainly understand that the thing that is most popular in the Kirkland store might not be as popular in Bellevue, and the most requested items can certainly change over time. In our Kirkland store, we strive to be really customer focused and responsive to customer requests, which we will continue to do in Bellevue. It is hard for us to know exactly how the Bellevue clientele’s preferences will differ from the Kirkland store clientele, but we are prepared to adapt to the needs of our new customer base. 

In both stores, we will continue to put the customer first and we will strive to create a consistently positive customer experience. We want to continue to create an environment all customers feel welcome and get all of their questions answered. We are very proud of our menu and the wide variety of products and price points that we offer. We love carrying everything from top shelf product, to great mid-priced product, to grams that are $6 every day. We take pride in the accuracy of our menu, which is usually re-printed twice a day in our store and updated online on our website throughout the day.  

Q: How many employees/new jobs will be created from your new store?

A: Two years ago, when we first opened our Kirkland location, we had 11 employees. By December of 2016, Kirkland was up to 27 employees. We have already hired for 8 additional positions for our Bellevue store and we anticipate hiring a few more as we open. My best guess is that we will have a total of 40, in both stores, by the early spring.

Higher Leaf Bellevue is located at 3079 156th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 and will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days a week. The store will announce more details about an official Grand Opening celebration on www.higherleaf.com later this month.

Bellevue Parents Call For Pot Shop Ban

WASHINGTON: Parents Against Marijuana Near Schools (PAMNS) are against the location of the proposed Marijuana Retail Store “Green Theory” in Bellevue, WA (Factoria).

Mike Griffith from Par 5 Investment has filed an application for a permit to change the use in an existing building in Factoria from a driving education service and offices to a retail use for marijuana products.

According to the petition, “The location for this proposed marijuana store is poorly conceived and ill advised given the large number of vulnerable and impressionable children and young people who visit many of the businesses and public entities in the area.”

Feds Seek Maximum Of 10 Years In Bellevue Hash-Oil Blast

WASHINGTON:  Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10-year, maximum sentence for a man who joined two tech workers in running a hash-oil operation that exploded in 2013, destroying a Bellevue apartment building and causing the death of a former mayor.

David Richard Schultz II is being sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court, and federal prosecutors say they want to send a message to others who might think Washington’s legalization of marijuana in 2012 gave them license to engage in dangerous home production of potent pot extracts.

“If Washington’s experiment in decriminalizing marijuana is to succeed, it is important to send a public message that merely because some marijuana-related activity is now tolerated, that does not mean that those who go too far … will escape prosecution and significant criminal sanction,” the U.S. Attorneys Office wrote in a sentencing memo.

Nan Campbell, an 87-year-old former Bellevue councilwoman and the city’s first female mayor, was sleeping in another unit when the explosion rocked the three-level building at the Hampton Greens Apartments on Nov. 5, 2013. She tripped as she escaped, broke her pelvis and died of complications two weeks later.

Cannabis Job Fair Draws Hundreds

WASHINGTON:  From security to software, agriculture to transportation, the Marijuana Business Association’s cannabis job fair was unlike any Kevin Donald’s ever attended.

“I would like to understand more about it,” he told one employer at a booth inside a Bellevue hotel.

Donald came all the way from Raleigh for the Marijuana Business Association job fair Saturday. He’s a college professor with a PhD and has never worked with pot.

Just under 500 job seekers networked for opportunities. They ranged from the long time unemployed to career cannabis industry insiders.

Blasts Blamed On Hash Oil Lead To Federal Charges

WASHINGTON:  The chemical process used to make hash oil — a method so fraught with volatility that police compare it to making methamphetamine — has come under attack by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan’s office filed criminal charges against eight people in connection with recent explosions attributed to the manufacture of hash oil in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland and Puyallup. One case involved a massive explosion and fire at a Bellevue apartment complex in November that resulted in the death of former Bellevue Mayor Nan Campbell.

While possession and consumption of hash oil are legal in Washington. However, Durkan said its manufacture is not.

“Under state law, there is no legal way to make hash oil right now. Every one of these home systems is a violation of federal law and state law,” Durkan said during a news conference. “If you’re doing it you should stop.”

 

Bellevue WA City Council Opts Not To Ban Retail Pot Stores

WASHINGTON: The Bellevue City Council voted Monday night against banning legal pot businesses in the state’s fifth-largest city.

Led by Kevin Wallace, several council members said in March they wanted to consider a moratorium or ban on legal pot merchants in light of state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s advisory opinion that cities could block the new legal industry.

But in a vote Wallace called for Monday on a six-month moratorium, only Conrad Lee sided with him. The five other council members voted for allowing legal pot businesses, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Jennifer Robertson noted that 59 percent of Bellevue’s electorate voted for Initiative 502 legalizing adult possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. “We should respect the will of the voters,” she said.

WA State Liquor Board Releases Names Of First Rec Marijuana License Applicants

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor Control Board has released the names of the first wave of applicants looking to enter the commercial marijuana market with eight looking to set up business in Bellevue, so far.

WSLCB opened the application process for prospective marijuana producers, processors and retailers on Nov. 20 with a Dec. 19 deadline to apply. The city of Bellevue is allowed four marijuana retail shops, however, there are no caps on how many producers and processors that may be issued licenses, said Mikhail Carpenter with WSLCB.

“There’s a lot of different things that they have to go through,” he said of the application process. “This is just the first step.”

So far, three retail applications have been received in Bellevue and printed by the liquor control board under their selected trade names: Danny’s Delights, 10620 N.E. Eighth St; THC Inc., 13128 S.E. Newport Way and the Mustard Seed Grill and Pub at 5608 119th Ave. S.E.