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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One license per pot grower, state says

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced today that they are limiting cannabis business applicants to one pot grow each, down from the three-license limit they set initially. The move overcomes a troublesome hurdle the board encountered: how to equitably distribute the two million square feet of grow space the agency set as a limit for the new industry when 2,858 applications requested to grow over 40 million square feet of pot.

Additionally, the board is reducing by 30% the amount of grow space that licensees may produce. The board initial created three tiers for 2,000, 10,000, and 30,000 square foot grows, which will now become 1,400, 7,000, and 21,000 square foot licenses.

With that resolved, the state will now start issuing cannabis production licenses. "We're probably looking at first week in march before an actual license gets out of here," says I-502 implementation chief Randy Simmons. "We have to do a final walkthrough, a final inspection. We're scheduling those for next week."

The agency says that over 900 applicants requested more than one license. Doing the math, today's decision leaves somewhere between 1,100 and 2,100 pot grow applications in the pool.

Simmons says the state will give applicants the option to withdraw their duplicate licenses and be refunded their application fees. Otherwise the applications will be put on hold until the liquor board determines the state's legal pot consumption is outstripping production capacity. "The first thing we would do is raise the tier level back up," says Simmons.

Applicants will not be allowed to change their tier level, so if you built a 2,000 square foot grow, you are stuck with a 1,400-foot limit. The agency won't open another licensing window for pot businesses until those mothballed applications are exhausted, so I expect most of those applicants to keep their place in line and forego the refund.


Comments (6) RSS

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Sir Vic 1
And the bureaucratic jujitsu continues.

What a shock that the WSLCB, a group wholly beholden to the alcohol industry, moves the goalposts on I-502 implementation yet again. Colorado has a system in place 13 months after the vote, but Washington is still playing hide & seek with its vague rules that counties & cities have determined can just be ignored even when enacted.

Putting the Liquor Control Board in charge of legal marijuana implementation is like putting that nazi pope Joey Ratz in charge of eliminating child molesting priests. It's the opposite of a solution.
Posted by Sir Vic on February 19, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 2
So our state has the ability to create a good (the right to grow pot) so valuable the demand for licenses is 3x the number of licenses they've artificially limited themselves to? A logical system would be to create a bidding system for the licenses they do release, rather than cutting them into smaller and smaller pieces.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on February 19, 2014 at 3:38 PM · Report this
“Additional production is likely necessary for the state to capture an increasing percentage as the market refines and matures. Agency rules allow for flexibility to meet an evolving controlled market,” the board said in its news release."

How long do you suppose it takes to react to changes in the market from the day prices are too high to the day new inventory has been approved, grown, processed, and available at retail?
Posted by Praetor on February 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Seems to favor the smaller operations. This is a good thing, I think. Spread the wealth and avoid the top heavy mega grow which is not the feds favorite paradigm..;-D
Posted by pupuguru on February 21, 2014 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Who thought it would be a good idea for the liquor board to manage this? Or anything? I know it was in the initiative. It's still stupid. Where are the Free Market Republicans opposing this socialist gubmint regulation?
Posted by pox on February 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM · Report this
As a very poor cannabis patient who can't grow his own due to health problems, I very strongly oppose this as it will dramatically increase the cost of my medication.
Posted by Tyro on February 22, 2014 at 8:09 PM · Report this

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