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).

New Pot Sales Figures Show Staggering Growth Continues

WASHINGTON: Looking at Washington’s most recent recreational marijuana sales data, it’s easy to see how the young industry could become a multibillion moneymaker for the country if legalization continues to spread.

Last fiscal year, Washington’s budding legal pot market made more than $259.7 million in sales, while raising some $64.9 million in tax revenue for the state. But the past month and a half of sales have put those numbers to shame.

Average daily sales are up to about $1.95 million statewide for August, according to data released by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board this week. That’s an increase of more than $100,000 from the same measure in July, which was the highest average daily sales figure we’d seen at the time.

The Evergreen State is on pace to sell more than $60 million worth of cannabis this month alone. And that’ll be a first.

Marijuana Regulations Up For Discussion Before Thurston County Commissioners

WASHINGTON: Thurston County residents will once again debate whether to extend recreational marijuana regulations that have been in place since November 2013.

The discussion will take place Tuesday at a public hearing held by the Thurston County Board of Commissioners. The hearing will start at 5:30 p.m. in Room 280 of the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1.

Planning Manager Mike Kain said county staff will recommend that commissioners renew the interim regulations for another six months without changes. He said they’ve encountered few problems with the current rules.

“I can say I think it’s working pretty well, and for that reason we are not planning on making any changes,” Kain said.

Under the regulations, recreational production and processing are permitted in most zones that permit agriculture or industrial uses, and marijuana retail is allowed in most commercial zones. Medical marijuana, however, is unregulated.

Kain said the lack of medical marijuana regulations may generate some comments from meeting attendees.

“We may have some people asking us to incorporate medical marijuana into the regulations, or to enact a moratorium,” Kain said.

Redmond City Council Hosts Public Hearing On Legal Marijuana Zoning

WASHINGTON: The City of Redmond City Council will hold a Public Hearing in the Council Chambers, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond, Washington on June 17, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. on rules and regulations relating to marijuana that are in conflict with federal law; and to terminate current interim land use regulations governing the location and operation of marijuana and marijuana-related uses within the City.

All persons are invited to comment in person at the hearing, or in writing prior to the hearing, to the Planning Department at City Hall, P.O. Box 97010, Redmond, Washington, 98073-9710.  Telephone number: (425) 556-2440, Fax Number: (425) 556-4242, or e-mail mayorcouncil@redmond.gov.  Contact Deborah Farris (425-556-2465, dfarris@redmond.gov) for more information.A copy of the proposal will be available no later than June 13, 2014 from the Planning Department, 4th Floor of City Hall and on the City’s web site