Thanks to the passage of Initiative 502 last November, recreational cannabis retail outlets will be opening throughout Washington State beginning next year. However, due to limitations set forth by the state’s Liquor Control Board – which is tasked with regulating the new market – 334 retail outlets will be allowed to open, with only 21 of those planned for the state’s largest city, Seattle. Now, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is calling for a large increase in this limit.
“We, too, want to keep licensed dispensers away from schools, playgrounds, and other locations identified in I-502, but this must be balanced with the equally important goal of supplanting the current illicit marijuana market with a sufficient number of I-502 stores,” said Holmes in a press release. Holmes is asking for the Board to more than double the limit to be above 50, in order to more appropriately meet demand.
In addition, Holmes encourages the Liquor Control Board to “give licensing preference to existing medical marijuana facilities that otherwise comply with – or demonstrate the ability to come into compliance with – I-502 requirements.”