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Seventeen vie for single FH pot retail license; lottery pick in store
— Editor's note, clarification: Bakery San Juan, 775 Mullis Street, is not an applicant for a marijuana retailer license. Although four applications filed with the state Liquor Control Board list 775 Mullis St. as a potential store location, none of those applications were filed by bakery owner Mark Sheppard, who notes that 775 Mullis St. is not eligible under state law to be a marijuana retail outlet.
San Juan County residents and visitors can now legally puff on a joint, but you won’t be able to buy it here (unless you have a medical marijuana prescription) until at least July of this year.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board, which regulates all aspects of non-medical marijuana production, processing and sales under Initiative 502, has yet to license any retail marijuana stores in San Juan County. At least one marijuana production license has been issued in Spokane to a medical marijuana purveyor named Sam Greene, but no licenses of any kind have been issued here.
Three marijuana retailer licenses have been allocated to San Juan County, one each for San Juan, Lopez and Orcas islands. Producer/grower applications and processor applications are not limited by regulation.
Seventeen of those applications were from San Juan Island and two each from Lopez and Orcas islands. Eight of the 17 applications listed 775/779 Mullis Street as the prospective business location; these are addresses association with Mark Sheppard and Bakery San Juan, although the residence addresses of the applicants were elsewhere on San Juan Island. Five other business addresses were also on Mullis St., with the others listed on Cattle Point Rd., Kiya Way, Daniel Lane and First Street.
The Lopez Island retailer applicants listed on the liquor board database (www.liq.wa.gov/records/frequently-requested-lists) were Adonis Delgado at an address on Fisherman’s Bay Road and a business called Orpheus, at a different address on Fisherman’s Bay Road.
Retailer applications from Orcas Island businesses were from The Cannabis Shop on Lover’s Lane and Token Herb on Crescent Beach Road.
Marijuana processor license applications were filed by three Orcas Island business - Leslie’s Magic Touch on Eastman Road, Mt. Woolard Farming at the same address on Eastman Road and NW Connoisseurs on Lagoon Road. No processor applications were filed from Lopez Island and nine processor applications were filed from San Juan Island.
Five marijuana producer or grower applications were received from Orcas Island and 14 from San Juan Island. No producer applications were filed from Lopez.
The grower applications are from Billie’s Goat on Scott Hill Drive, D&M Green House 420 of Candlewood Lane, and Leslie’s Magic Touch, Mt. Woolard Farming and NW Connoisseurs.
Attempts to identify and contact the persons behind these applications were unsuccessful, but have been requested under a Public Records Request from the liquor board.
Local San Juan County officials have received letters from the liquor board asking if they had any objections to the liquor board issuing a marijuana license to the applicants. This “no-objection” procedure is similar to the liquor licensing procedure and does not refer to local zoning or permitting requirements that might later be imposed. County Council Chairman Rick Hughes said that no objections to any of the prospective licensees were filed.
The liquor board announced on April 2 that they plan to conduct a “double-blind lottery process” later in April to select “winners” among the approximately 2,000 applicants for a marijuana retailer license, although 25 percent of applicants did not provide required documentation and another 20 to 50 percent of applications were disqualified because they were incomplete.
Although marijuana stores in Washington will not open until July or later, marijuana sales to individuals started in Colorado last year at medical marijuana dispensaries in that state. Reports from that state from the Weed Blog indicated that January 2014 sales in Colorado were $14.02 million, which raised about $2 million in tax revenue for the state.
Although meaningful revenue estimates have not been made available, the Washington Liquor Board estimates that retail prices for marijuana will be in the neighborhood of $350 per ounce, including 25 percent excise taxes at the producer and processor levels but not including the retail sales tax of the locality of the store.