State regulators opened a new window for I-502 license applications this week, and unlike the first application round and lottery, there’s no set cap on the number of licenses they can issue. In theory, it sets up the possibility for Seattle to add more retail shops — including the next chapter in the race to bring pot to Capitol Hill on 15th Ave E.
But temper your expectations. Under a new priority criteria passed by the Legislature, the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board will give preferential consideration to those pot pioneers in the dissolving medical marijuana industry. First priority applicants include law abiding medical owners or employees who were issued a license prior to January 2013 and applied for a retail license prior to July 2014. Second priority applicants are medical shop owners or employees who have been linseed sinced January 2013. All other applicants will be third priority.
Even if more permits are issued, permit holders will still have to find a place to open their shop. With buffer rules still in place blocking shops from opening in most retail cores around the city, including on Capitol Hill, new locations remain hard to come by.
The WSLCB is also awaiting the results of a fresh study it commissioned to analyze how the marijuana market has changed over the last year. That will inform future caps on licenses, according to WSLCB spokesperson Brian Smith. Ultimately, the state is keen on maintaining a balanced supply of marijuana as a way to keep pot products from being sold out of state and thus keeping the federal government off its back. Continue reading