Marijuana retail outlet allocated for Bothell

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

MarijuanaPhoto by Briana Gerdeman. Employees Vince Nelson, left, and Cole Vett, right, explain different products to customers at Woodinville Quality Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary. The Washington State Liquor Control Board approved rules that allocate recreational marijuana retail outlets throughout the state. The state Liquor Control Board has allocated one marijuana retail outlet for Bothell, but none for Woodinville or Kenmore.

The allocation of retail outlets is part of the process of legalizing marijuana production, distribution and possession under Initiative 502, which passed last November.

The Board also approved two retail outlets in Kirkland, two in Redmond, one in Mill Creek and one in Mountlake Terrace, out of a total of 334 stores in the state. There will also be 11 stores at large in King County, and 16 stores at large in Snohomish County.

There will be a total of 61 stores allowed in King County and 35 allowed in Snohomish County, according to information from the WSLCB. The locations were distributed based on population data from the Office of Financial Management (OFM).

The stores will be licensed and regulated by the WSLCB, but owned privately. Beginning Nov. 18, there will be a 30-day period for prospective owners to submit applications for a marijuana retailer license. The license will have a $250 application fee and a $1,000 annual renewal fee.

If there are more applications than the allotted number of stores for a city or county, the specific locations will be selected by lottery.

"It’s a tightly controlled market to prevent the product from leaving the state," Brian Smith, communications director for the WSLCB said.

Marijuana retail outlets will only be able to sell marijuana, marijuana-infused products and paraphernalia such as pipes, Smith said. OFM estimates the price will be an average of $12 per gram of marijuana.

Marijuana possession is still illegal for people under 21, and minors under 21 will not be able to enter or work at marijuana retail stores.

According to the WSLCB, marijuana retail stores cannot be located within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, secondary school, playground, recreation center, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or game arcade that allows minors to enter.

Individual cities will be able to make more restrictive zoning rules, Smith said.

Woodinville already has a medical marijuana dispensary, and its owner, Josh Shade, believes the new recreational marijuana retail stores won’t be good for his business, Woodinville Quality Collective  — which is located outside the city limits on SR 9 because of the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana.

"I imagine they’re going to try to shut me down," Shade said, because the owners of recreational marijuana stores will pay more taxes than medical marijuana store owners.

Still, he plans to apply for a license to sell recreational marijuana and will try to stay in business as long as he can even if he doesn’t get a license.

Although recreational marijuana retail stores will mean more competition, "I think there’s a big difference between medical and recreational," Shade said.

A store can’t sell both recreational and medical marijuana, and advertising for recreational marijuana stores can’t refer to curative or therapeutic effects, according to the WSLCB rules.

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