Washington LCB To Increase Number Of Retail Marijuana Stores Following Analysis Of Marketplace

WASHINGTON: Following an analysis of the entire marijuana marketplace in Washington State, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) today heard a recommendation from staff to increase the number of retail marijuana stores from the current cap of 334 to a new cap of 556. The methodology for the cap will be part of emergency rules which will be announced Jan. 6, 2016. The allocation of retail licenses determined by the board will be published on the WSLCB website at lcb.wa.gov.

“Our goal was clear; to ensure medical patients have access to the products they need,” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza. “There will be more storefronts for patients going forward than are available today. In addition, qualified patients can grow their own or join a four-member cooperative.”

Earlier this year the legislature enacted, and Gov. Inslee signed, legislation (SSB 5052) entitled the Cannabis Patient Protection Act. The new law charges the WSLCB, the state Department of Health and other agencies with drafting regulations that integrate the medical marijuana marketplace into the tightly controlled recreational marketplace. The WSLCB is charged with licensing retail applicants using a priority-based system.

Priority Licensing System

  • First priority applicants are those who applied for a marijuana retail license prior to July 1, 2014, operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Second priority applicants are those who operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license, and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Third priority applicants are those who don’t meet the first or second criteria.

The WSLCB began accepting license applications on Oct. 12, 2015. Thus far, the WSLCB has received 1,194 retail applications. Of those who have applied, 39 have been determined as priority one and 42 have been determined as priority two. Applicants must still meet all other WSLCB licensing criteria before being licensed.

Proportionate Allocation based on Medical Sales
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 and to accommodate the medical needs of qualifying patients and designated providers. Locations not assigned to a specific city will be at large.

WSLCB will increase the number of available licenses in the ten counties with the highest medical sales by 100 percent. Exceptions include Yakima and Benton Counties which have bans and moratoria in all major population centers. The 100 percent increase will transfer to the next two highest for medical needs, Skagit and Cowlitz Counties. Those counties and jurisdictions not in the top ten for medical sales will receive an increase of the number of licensees by 75 percent.

In addition to new retail licensees, 70 percent of existing retail recreational marijuana stores have received an endorsement on their license to sell medical marijuana.

BOTEC Analysis Corporation Report
BOTEC Analysis Corporation provided its final report, Estimating the Size of the Medical Cannabis Market in Washington State, on Dec. 15, 2015. In its report, BOTEC provided a range of the value of the overall marijuana market in Washington State. Its best estimate of the overall market value is a median figure at $1.3 billion annually. Its best estimate on the breakdown is: $480M medical (37 percent of market), $460M state-licensed recreational stores (35 percent of market) and $390M illicit (28 percent of the market).

Up In Smoke: New Oregon Law Closing ‘Cannabis Cafes’

OREGON: As of Jan. 1. the World Famous Cannabis Cafe in Portland is being forced to close, as state lawmakers have broadened the state’s clean indoor air regulations to include marijuana.

Within House Bill 2546, lawmakers defined what they mean by “inhalant.”

By law an Inhalant means:  “Nicotine, a cannabinoid or any other substance that’s inhaled into a person’s respiratory system.”

With this new law, marijuana lounges, of which only a handful exist, are not allowed in the state of Oregon.

Vancouver Public To Have Input On Marijuana Dispensaries

CANADA:  The public will have a chance to give their input on Vancouver’s proposal to regulate the growing number of pot shops after city council decided April 28 to send the issue to public hearing.

The move, which is unprecedented by a Canadian municipal government, came after city manager Penny Ballem outlined a series of regulations to ensure the city has some control over the 85 pot shops.

Regulations call for an annual $30,000 licence fee for dispensary operators, criminal record checks and keeping pot shops 300 metres from schools and community centres.

 

Pueblo County, Colorado Approves Recreational Marijuana Sales

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Colorado’s Marijuana Debate Heats Up As Pot Activists Argue Against Heavy Taxation

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Colorado Retail Marijuana Applications Pouring In

COLORADO: Eisa Khoury, part owner of three medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, waited patiently Thursday for confirmation that the state had accepted his applications for non medical retail sales of pot. [Read more…]

Colorado Retail Marijuana Applications Pouring In

COLORADO: Eisa Khoury, part owner of three medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, waited patiently Thursday for confirmation that the state had accepted his applications for non medical retail sales of pot. [Read more…]