County could have 35 retail pot stores under state rules

EVERETT — Snohomish County could be the home to as many as 35 licensed retail marijuana stores — more than all but one county in Washington — under rules proposed by the state’s Liquor Control Board.

In Snohomish County, 16 stores could open outside area cities. The rest are allocated to specific incorporated areas, including five in Everett, three in Marysville and two in Lynnwood.

Statewide, up to 334 retail marijuana stores could open, according to rules proposed Wednesday by the Liquor Control Board. The most, up to 61, would be in King County, with about a third of those located inside the city of Seattle.

Four could open in Island County.

The Liquor Control Board is charged with carrying out a voter-approved initiative to legalize the possession and use of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

The board’s duties include licensing growers, distributors and retailers of marijuana as well as other rules regulating its sale.

On Wednesday, the board proposed a number of rules on recreational marijuana sales, including a production cap of 40 metric tons of marijuana per year.

“These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly regulated and controlled system while providing reasonable access to participation in the market, said board chair Sharon Foster. “We believe these rules meet the eight federal government enforcement priorities within (last) Thursday’s guidance memo from the Department of Justice.”

The number of retail stores will be allocated by population, with a limit on how many can be situated in each of the state’s larger cities and in each county.

Clay White, a planning and development director for Snohomish County said that the county is now working on and will take public comment about proposed permanent regulations on retail marijuana stores.

The regulations also will deal with medical marijuana sales and collective gardens, he said.

Everett is expected to have its regulations in place by Nov. 18, said Colin Olivers, an assistant city attorney.

Washington and Colorado both legalized the recreational use of marijuana last fall.

In July, the Liquor Control Board filed proposed rules, which it revised after five public hearings. There is a 30-day public comment period before the rules are finally adopted.

Board members said retail stores could open as early as June 2014.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that it would not attempt to legally block Washington or Colorado over plans to tax and regulate pot sales for adults as long as the states adhere to the federal priorities that include preventing drugged driving and keeping marijuana away from kids and off the black market.

The Justice Department said strong state regulatory systems could actually enhance federal law enforcement goals by keeping marijuana profits from cartels.

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, on Wednesday praised the board’s proposed rules.

“While further public input is essential in potentially refining the rules, these are well-thought-out solutions that are reasonable and appropriate,” she said. “The board was smart to prioritize public safety and consumer safety while providing reasonable access and also meeting the eight federal enforcement priorities set by the Department of Justice.”

“I’m pleased that the proposed caps on grow size would allow for greater participation for small-sized producers rather than for fewer, large-sized producers,” she said.

The revised rules set the maximum amount of space for marijuana production at 2 million square feet.

They also limit any entity to three producer or processor licenses and three retail licenses.

“We want to avoid a market dominated by large players, which could drive up prices, and encourage aggressive marketing,” board member Chris Marr said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

Pot stores in Snohomish County

Place Population Stores
Total county 713,335 35
Outside cities 302,292 16
Arlington 17,926 1
Bothell (part) 16,415 1
Edmonds 39,709 2
Everett 103,019 5
Lake Stevens 28,069 1
Lynnwood 35,836 2
Marysville 60,020 3
Mill Creek 18,244 1
Monroe 17,304 1
Mountlake Terrace 19,909 1
Mukilteo 20,254 1

Source: Washington State

Liquor Control Board

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read