2 Tapped To Fill Washington Liquor Board Vacancies

WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee nominated a former Kitsap County prosecutor and a veteran state employee Wednesday to the three-member board that oversees the state’s liquor and marijuana industries.

Russ Hauge, a Democrat, was the longest-serving elected prosecutor in Kitsap County’s history. He was in office two decades before he was narrowly unseated by Republican Tina Robinson in November.

The other nominee is Jane Rushford, who will serve as board chairwoman. She has held various positions in state government in the past 30 years. She is the former deputy director of the Department of Enterprise Services, and previously served as a policy adviser to the Department of Natural Resources and on the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives.

Hauge and Rushford are being named to posts being vacated by Liquor Control Board members Sharon Foster and Chris Marr, who helped oversee the launch of the state’s legal marijuana industry.

The nominees face confirmation in the state Senate, but they can start work on their six-year terms before they’re confirmed.


Pacific Ponders Ordinances On Marijuana Businesses

WASHINGTON:  The Pacific City Council on July 9 heard what residents had to say about a trio of possible City ordinances that would regulate recreational and medical marijuana businesses within city limits.

As proposed, the ordinances would lay down requirements for any recreational marijuana businesses in the community, including retail, processing and production facilities, and potentially ban medical marijuana businesses.

The first of the ordinances under consideration would add chapter 5.12 to the Pacific Municipal Code, laying out the regulations for licensing recreational businesses in the city, including penalties for violating the proposed code.

The ordinance would work hand-in-hand with the already established Washington State Liquor Control Board‘s rules for recreational marijuana businesses and specify where a business could be located. It directs that businesses be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds, recreational centers, child cares, public parks, public transit centers, libraries or game arcades. It would ban processors, producers or retail recreational pot businesses everywhere except in light industrially-zoned areas in the Pierce County portion of the city.


First Three Days Of Marijuana Sales Pull In More Than $148,000 In Excise Taxes

WASHINGTON:  With just a handful of stores opened and supply short, the state will still pull in $148,256 of excise taxes from sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to figures provided by the Liquor Control Board. That numbers reflect sales throughout the supply chain, including those from suppliers to retailers but don’t account for sales tax or business and occupation (B&O) taxes.

“I think it’s a good start for the number of stores we have open,” said Randy Simmons, the state’s marijuana project director. 

Simmons said he expects volatile revenue figures until the end of September or beginning of October when outdoor grows are expected to be harvested.

Marijuana is taxed at 25 percent as it passes through each rung of  the industry’s supply chain (producer, processor and retailer). Most excise taxes from pot is earmarked toward prevention, research and health funding.


Thurston Has Its First State Licensed Pot Grower

WASHINGTON: This will not be a new line of work for Jeff Gilmore.

“There hasn’t been a day I haven’t gotten up at 6 a.m. and started selling pot in the last 45 years,” Gilmore said.

What is new is state government’s stamp of approval. The Liquor Control Board handed a marijuana producer-processor license May 28 to business partners Gilmore, David Brown and Mary McKnew, a former member of the liquor board.

And with that, Thurston County has its first licensed marijuana grower.

The partners are allowed to use up to 7,000 square feet on property next to Gilmore’s home near Tenino to grow the plants.



Seattle City Attorney Holmes And WSLCB Member Chris Marr Keynote “Canna Business & The Law”

WASHINGTON: Sometime in July, the first recreational marijuana retail stores will open their doors in Washington State.  In anticipation hundreds of  I-502 applicants are scrambling to get all their ducks in a row, so they can attain their license in time for the market debut.

The impending deadline has put tremendous stress on these mainly small legal “canna businesses,” all of whom share the traditional pressing needs of any startup – business planning, financing, real estate, HR, branding, marketing, and sales — with the additional burden of adhering to the strict compliance regulations set by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).

In an effort to get all key players in one room, Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), the leading trade organization serving the emerging legal cannabis, medical marijuana and hemp industries, has teamed with Canna Law Group – the nascent industry’s leading legal firm – to present, “Canna Business and the Law: A Must Attend B2B Seminar for I-502 Licensees, and Professional Service Providers,” at the Westin Seattle, Thursday May 22nd, from 9:00-4:20.

Screenshot 2014-05-20 13.20.04Canna Business and the LawSeattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who famously sponsored I-502, will deliver a keynote address at lunch, as will WSLCB Member Chris Marr.  Salal Credit Union, the first credit union in Western Washington to announce it would begin accepting some I-502 accounts will make news by sending its Chief Lending Officer, Bob Schweigert, to participate on the “Managing Your Marijuana Money” panel.  Patrick Vo, COO of BioTrackTHC, the official software of I-502, will be a featured panelist, as will Redmond’s #1 Pot Lottery retail winner, the Grass Is Always Greener’s Jenny Carbon. The rest of the featured participants on the day’s 5 panels reads like a Who’s Who of Washington’s legal marijuana business, including representatives from the top attorneys, CPAs, business leaders and governmental officials.

“It is the mission of the MJBA to provide the reliable business intelligence, professional community and best ethical practices necessary to create a viable, sustainable and profitable marketplace,” said MJBA CEO David Rheins. “We are honored to have both Seattle City Attorney Holmes and WSLCB Member Marr address this historic I-502 Seminar. Together their two speeches will signal the ‘ringing of the market bell’ ushering in not only a new legal industry for Washington, but a new era of economic re-invigoration and job creation for our local communities.”

Canna Law Group Practice Leader Hilary Bricken, Dope Magazine’s “Marijuana Attorney of the Year” in 2013, will deliver the breakfast keynote, and CNBC Senior Editor Al Olson will be the exclusive event’s master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $199 for MJBA members, $250 non-members, and include a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and invitation to a 4:20 Happy Hour. Buy your tickets here:

Puget Island May Embrace Marijuana Production, Though Begrudgingly So For Many

WASHINGTON: This community of corn fields and dairy cows could soon be growing a more controversial commodity.

Aspiring marijuana farmers have filed two applications with the Washington Liquor Control Board to locate along State Route 409, the main drag across the island. The applications have thrust the rural area into a debate facing communities across the state — despite voter approval of Initiative 502 in 2012, should marijuana businesses be allowed in communities that may disapprove of it?

“I just don’t believe that we need it here in the county,” said Wahkiakum County Commissioner Dan Cothren said. “It sends the wrong message to our youth.” [Read more…]

Marijuana Grow Could Sprout In A Battle Ground Building

WASHINGTON:  A Battle Ground developer has filed an application to build what could become one of the county’s first legal marijuana grow operations.

Dennis Pavlina, principal of the Gold Medal Group and developer of Battle Ground Village, filed paperwork on behalf of an outside brokerage group to develop an 18,000-square-foot building at 1618 S.E. Commerce Ave. The 1.02-acre property, which Pavlina owns, is zoned light industrial and appears to meet the state’s requirements for growing marijuana, approved by voters in 2012.

No deal is in place, Pavlina said, as the currently unnamed ownership group is awaiting approval from the Washington Liquor Control Board. Pavlina said he plans to sell the land if the state signs off on the group’s application.

“Right now, I’m just getting land approved for this use,” Pavlina said.

The newfound interest in the property came as a surprise to Pavlina, who said he didn’t know it was possible to build a marijuana facility there until he received interest from the group. It would become the first parcel of land Pavlina has sold in roughly a decade, he said.