Marijuana talk show State of the Green to start streaming on 4/20 from Capitol Hill

BlRkHOmCAAAkNBL.jpg-largeMarijuana legalization has opened a new space for all sorts of creative endeavors, from new businesses to fun times at the Seattle Police Department. And we’ve only just begun. A new talk show that will stream live from Capitol Hill is seeking to capture Seattle’s burgeoning legal pot culture in all its glory.

If you couldn’t guess, State Of The Green will stream its first show April 20th at 4:20 PM. Capitol Hill couple Tim and Victoria Brennecke will be hosting and producing the show, which will feature a mix of interviews, topical discussions, and sketch comedy.

“We were just getting high on the couch one day brainstorming ideas for a show,” said Brennecke, who works as an independent audio and video producer with his outfit Mini T.V. “The main goal is just to be uplifting and fun for the cannabis community.”

The duo will use Google’s Hang Out on Air, which allows viewers to watch shows via a live YouTube stream and allows guests to join the broadcast from their own webcams. Get updates on Twitter @StateOfTheGreen.

The inaugural 20 minute episode promises “cross-joints for Easter, coverage of 420 myths, and your hosts will play a game for everyone to get to know them better.” Brennecke said future topics will include I-502 and medical laws, as well as some product and strain reviews.

Between shop owners, growers, medical providers, activists, and artists the pool of potential guests runs deep on Capitol Hill. Brennecke said he and his wife have been busy booking guests for their first crop of shows and plan to launch a website.

“It’s something we’re really passionate about,” he said. “Having a good public image is important for this community.”

Meanwhile the ongoing saga of Roses Smell continues over at the recently launched webseries Capitol Hill.

Lucky 21 — Retail pot lottery planned for April

(Image: @acholcomb via Twitter)

(Image: @acholcomb via Twitter)

With Washington’s first license for a marijuana producer-processor issued Wednesday to Spokane’s Kouchlock Productions, the process to assign licenses for the more than 300 planned legal pot shops in the state — including 21 in Seattle — is also moving forward.

A spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor Control Board — soon to become the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, btw — tells CHS a proposal for the retail license lottery was slated to be presented Wednesday.

A control board member speaking at an event in Pullman late last month said the lottery will take place in April:

 In April, they plan to hold a retail license lottery for all the applicants that want to open up a pot shop. The board plans on issuing more than 300 licenses to retailers, but they’ve already received more then 2,000 applications.

The official also said stores could be open as soon as June.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10.52.39 AMThe race to become Seattle’s first legal marijuana retailers has drawn some interesting players sometimes employing interesting strategies. The most serious apparently have played multiple hands with applications for more than one location in the city as various rules and zoning interplay to create marijuana-free zones across Seattle. In one sad wrinkle, retailers won’t be allowed to hold the other cannabis licenses for producers or processors so don’t get your hopes up, yet, for a Seattle pot bakery shop.

Earlier, CHS reported on the state’s decision to allocate only 21 stores for the city and its strict “as the crow flies” interpretation of the 1,000-foot buffer that would virtually eliminate any possibility of a pot store opening on Capitol Hill. City Attorney Pete Holmes continues to call for more shops to legally address the Seattle cannabis demand.

We last mapped the more than 400 cannabis retail applications submitted for Seattle in January as a few prospective pot entrepreneurs rolled the dice on acquiring licenses for shops on Capitol Hill. The control board has reportedly, um, weeded out locations that would violate laws and zoning rules as well as assessed the lease situation for proposed stores. Selecting from the remaining pool will apparently come down to the luck of the draw.

The ultimate Capitol Hill edible: Has cupcake queen thrown crown into ring for retail marijuana? — UPDATE


Autumn Cupcake
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originally uploaded by sea turtle.

The latest batch of applications for one of the planned — and coveted — 21 retail marijuana licenses to be assigned in the city includes a small swarm of new players looking to provide the most highly populated neighborhood of potential customers in Seattle with a pot shop. It also includes a big name already established in providing treats on Capitol Hill and beyond.

It is possible Capitol Hill could feature some of the yummiest edibles in Seattle.

In the mix of more than 400 applications from hundreds of individual applicants in Seattle is a company called Royale Leisure Industries, LLC. According to the State of Washington, the company’s “governing person” is none other than Cupcake Royale queen Jody Hall.

Earlier, CHS reported on the state’s decision to allocate only 21 stores for Seattle and its strict “as the crow flies” interpretation of the 1,000-foot buffer that would eliminate any possibility of a pot store opening on Capitol Hill.

We’ve asked Hall for more information on the venture which lists Cupcake Royale’s Capitol Hill facility at 1111 E Pike as its location. UPDATE: A Cupcake Royale spokesperson declined to comment on the application. UPDATE: Thursday, Hall told us it has been a busy day shooing away TV cameras since CHS broke the news of her pot application yesterday.

“This isn’t about Cupcake Royale. We’d never make marijuana cupcakes,” she said.

“I thought I would throw my hat in the ring,” Hall told us.

Hall said the application process required a location for the proposed store so she applied with the existing E Pike main bakery address. Her plan is to open a retail bakery in a location that would fit within the bounds of local zoning and state laws if the application is one of those selected by the state for approval. But as the Seattle Time’s pot beat reporter noted following up on our initial report, Hall says it appears she will actually need a processing license to bake her own edibles. Hall might be able to change her application with the state control board. Bob Young, reporting on marijuana for the Seattle Times, says Hall would not be allowed to hold both a processing and a retail license. Meanwhile, it’s unclear how efforts like this Denver restaurant’s marijuana pairing menu might be handled in the city if a venue also provided the bud along with the dishes.

As for the potential of a Royale Leisure Industries bakery, ”I’m not a stoner,” the woman who has turned cake and frosting into a seven store mini empire said. “We have the intellectual property and know-how to make yummy things.”

We’re still trying to track down people associated with the other newly released applications and will update if we get a chance to talk with any other of the ventures targeting Capitol Hill. One applicant — The 420 Highway — is seeking to put the former Bus Stop bar back into motion as a marijuana store.

In December, CHS reported on the application from a business called The Bud Lady hoping to open a retail shop near 15th and Mercer. At the time, the state only listed 80 or so applications for Seattle. After a few weeks of processing at the deadline for applications, that number has leapt to more than 400 locations in the city with some applicants throwing their hats in at several different locations in Seattle.  In November, we reported on land owner and entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg’s applications for a possible Uncle Ike’s shop at the intersection of 23rd and Union which is expected to be a retail marijuana hot spot no matter how zoning interpretations play out. Eisenberg and others have wagered the $250 fee and submitted multiple applications at multiple locations in hopes of scoring one of the 21 stores currently planned to be allotted in the city.

How the state control board’s lottery for areas with multiple applicants will work isn’t entirely clear nor is how the board will vet the applications for elements like leases and rental agreements. A “letter of intent” requirement was relaxed during the application process, CHS reported earlier.

Meanwhile, as marijuana entrepreneurs work toward opening retail shops later this year, the Seattle Police Department is still deciding whether off-duty officers will be allowed to provide security for the new businesses.

Currently there are no department policies prohibiting off-duty officers from providing security to retail marijuana shops or to medical marijuana shops, said SPD spokesperson Sean Whitcomb. However, Whitcomb said that policy is currently under review. Denver cops have been prohibited from working with retail pot operations.

“We’re not categorically saying no,” he said, adding that the department would be conferring with the city attorney and state attorney general in the coming months to make a decision.

The 21 successful applicants will be finalized later this winter with officials predicting the first stores in Washington in operation by June.

15th Ave E applicant one of 83 spots in Seattle vying to become legal marijuana shops

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 1.17.33 PM1462727_714126891932256_1355983316_oWith the City Attorney asking the state for more Seattle stores and a looser interpretation of the “as the crow flies” buffer zones that would prohibit marijuana shops in most of the Emerald City, one entrepreneur has rolled the dice on an application to become Capitol Hill’s first and only legal pot retailer.

The Bud Lady has filed for an I-502 marijuana retailer license at 518 15th Ave E. That’s the address where longtimer North Hill Bakery just shuttered. But don’t get your pot shop hopes too high. CHS reported that Nuflours vegan bakery will be taking over the space in 2014.

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City Attorney calls for more pot stores in Seattle, looser interpretation of buffer zones

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And 27 more!

There may be hope for a 15th Ave pot store after all. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes Wednesday called for changes in the implementation of I-502 to ease the path to making legal retail marijuana a success in the state’s densest urban environment.

In a letter to the state’s Liquor Control Board, Holmes called for a more than doubling in the number of retail store licenses currently planned to be allocated in Seattle and a change in how the board interprets the 1,000-foot buffer restrictions preventing marijuana shops from opening near facilities like schools and playgrounds.

Last week, CHS posted a map of the first wave of applicants for licenses to grow, process and/or sell marijuana in the great State of Washington including more than 80 locations with applications in Seattle. Earlier, we reported on the state’s decision to allocate only 21 stores for the city and its strict “as the crow flies” interpretation of the 1,000-foot buffer that would eliminate any possibility of a pot store opening on Capitol Hill, the city’s most densely populated neighborhood.

Holmes also called for the board to ”give licensing preference to existing medical marijuana facilities” that can meet I-502 requirements.

Thursday, by the way, many Capitol Hill bars will celebrate Repeal Day on the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

Below, we’ve included a full statement from Holmes and mapped all Seattle-area marijuana retailer license applications received by the state thus far with two weeks until the deadline. Seattle currently stands at 44 applications including some providers playing in with multiple hands by submitting applications for multiple locations in the same area. Our map also shows applications in nearby cities like Redmond and Burien. Background and financial checks will weed out some of the applicants and a lottery will then determine which applications are selected. If Holmes gets his way, Seattle applicants may not have to worry about the luck of the draw. Continue reading

Capitol Hill weed delivery co-op gets early jump on retail pot

winterlifeMeet the Raccoons, your friendly neighborhood marijuana delivery men. At least for now. They’re a rotating group of seven entrepreneurs who will bicycle recreational marijuana to your Capitol Hill home, no medical card required.

The Raccoons are part of a larger cooperative, known as the Winterlife Co-op. CHS had been watching things play out across the Capitol Hill social network. Then the co-op’s founder was featured in a KOMO story Wednesday, prompting the group’s Craigslist ads to now rightfully promote their services “As Seen On TV.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 9.29.50 PMGerm, as he asked to be referenced in this story, is the dispatcher for the Raccoons, which run Winterlife’s Capitol Hill operation. Three other sub-groups include the Opossums (north Seattle), Lone Wolves (northwest Seattle), and the Otters (south central Seattle). According to Germ, Winterlife started their business immediately after I-502 was passed to make home deliveries primarily to working and disabled people.

“Our customers are law abiding Washington citizens who just want to relax after work,” Germ said. “And I-502 doesn’t help people who can’t leave their homes.” Continue reading

Why Seattle’s most densely populated neighborhood probably* won’t have a pot shop

502 celebrated bumbershoot style on election night (Image: Aurea Astro with permission to CHS)

502 celebrated bumbershoot style on election night (Image: Aurea Astro with permission to CHS)

A last minute change in state rules will leave Capitol Hill — Seattle’s most densely populated, most walk-friendly neighborhood — without a retail pot shop. Marijuana retail regulations have solidified with only a few weeks to go before the Washington State Liquor Control Board votes to adopt the final I-502 regulations including revised zoning rules that seem to prohibit retail marijuana on Capitol Hill. However, at least one entrepreneur — who has asked to remain anonymous — tells CHS he is moving forward with plans to apply for a retail marijuana permit despite officials from the Department of Planning and Development saying it won’t happen.

Brennon Staley, DPD’s point-person on marijuana retail zoning, confirmed to CHS that pot retail on the Hill is unlikely, even along 15th where several cannabis entrepreneurs have planned to set up shop.

“Our initial analysis suggests that these rules are likely to prohibit any licensed retail stores in Capitol Hill,” Staley said via email.

Back in January it was clear that marijuana entrepreneurs eyeing Capitol Hill would face an uphill battle. Continue reading

21 marijuana stores planned for Seattle, 1,000-foot rule changed

What-Do-You-Think-of-the-New-Washington-State-Marijuana-LogoThe numbers are in: Seattle is planned to have 21 legal marijuana retail locations starting in 2014. 40 additional stores could dot King County, and there will be 334 legal pot retail locations allowed statewide. The numbers were announced Wednesday after the Washington State Liquor Control Board passed its final proposed rules on the legal pot industry. Insiders expect the new stores to be open by June 2014.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 9.40.51 AMWhile it’s still not clear how many pot stores Capitol Hill will have and where they’ll be located, some changes in the proposals make it even more likely that pot entrepreneurs will find a home in the neighborhood. Responding to complaints that the planned 1,000-foot “as the crow flies” buffer around schools and parks is too restrictive, the board has proposed a change in the way marijuana-free zone will be measured. The new measurement will allow the permitted 1,000 feet along a “common path” between parks and schools instead of a hard-fast marijuana-restricted circle. The change could allow an area like Broadway to be in the mix for possible pot stores if city restrictions are lifted. 15th Ave E and E Olive Way have the only areas where pot retailing would be allowed on Capitol Hill under the currently planned restrictions.

Looking back at pre-privatization liquor store locations may also provide clues. The density of retail pot locations will roughly resemble the density of state-run and contract liquor stores prior to I-1183, according to WSLCB spokesperson Brian Smith. Capitol Hill had two liquor store locations in 2012.

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With DOJ taking wait and see approach, Capitol Hill should see retail pot in early 2014

Pike/Pine's BOTH Collective folded in 2012 after threats from the DEA (Image: CHS)

Pike/Pine’s BOTH Collective folded in 2012 after threats from the DEA (Image: CHS)

Last Labor Day, Capitol Hill saw a pioneer wave of marijuana dispensaries suddenly dissolve following threats from the DEA. In 2013, a much different federal message on the future of retail pot in Seattle has been delivered.

Thursday, the Department of Justice announced “an update to its federal marijuana enforcement policy in light of recent state ballot initiatives that legalize, under state law, the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provide for the regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale.”

The takeaway — the Feds won’t intervene in Washington and Colorado’s pot business if local laws keep the industry in check. The full DOJ memo is below. Many see the update as the go ahead entrepreneurs have been waiting for to put plans for new marijuana retail businesses on Capitol Hill and beyond into full motion.

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City Attorney wants pot clubs to address renter’s paradox


Lucky Rabbit, originally uploaded by jillbertini.

Call it the renter’s paradox. When voter-approved marijuana legalization goes into full effect next year, renters will be able to buy weed, but may not technically have a place to smoke it.

The current law prohibits open use of marijuana “in view of the general public,” but allows it inside privately owned homes. That protection doesn’t extend to rental housing – of which, Capitol Hill has plenty. Many landlords are expected to ban marijuana in and around their buildings, just like cigarettes.

It’s not a new issue, but Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is now asking the state to address it. In a letter dated June 10, Holmes asked the state’s Liquor Control Board to consider allowing for smoking clubs to curb public marijuana use. “Renters and tourists should not be forced to use marijuana in parks or on sidewalks,” he wrote.

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Washington State Kine Bud Control Board releases proposed rules for recreational marijuana entrepreneurs

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 3.59.44 PMIt’s hard not to be silly about it. We’re assuming the same kind of giddy, childish humor was on display at the end of liquor prohibition, too. Thursday, the needs-a-new-name Washington State Liquor Control Board released a timeline and 46 pages of draft rules for licensing, sales and accounting in a nascent recreational marijuana economy. We’ve included the entire draft document and the board’s timeline for implementation, below.

The draft proposals includes everything from licensing requirements for a legal marijuana dealership to the new logo and information box to be used on WA State-certified weed packaging. Continue reading

Seattle Police Chief part of Saturday’s Cannabis Freedom Rally in Volunteer Park

First, they let this guy speak…

Dominic Holden in 2011

Dominic Holden in 2011

Then this guy celebrated…

An unidentified fan of democracy on election night, 2012 (Images: CHS)

An unidentified fan of democracy on election night, 2012 (Images: CHS)

With legalization, comes legitimization. One of the scheduled speakers at the annual Cannabis Freedom Rally and March starting at Volunteer Park on Saturday is acting Seattle Chief of Police Jim Pugel:

The annual Cannabis Freedom March will feature interim Seattle police chief Jim Pugel. Having the leader of a major US city police department speak at a marijuana march is obviously of historic significance, and it demonstrates that after years of marijuana-law protests and organizing, including a legalization initiative that passed last year, the political movement has co-opted officials once seen as opponents.

“This is a public outreach opportunity,” says SPD spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, who is also speaking at the pot rally.

The annual rally starts at Volunteer Park’s amphitheater at 11 AM with the march from the park, down Broadway to downtown slated to begin around 1 PM. Continue reading