September 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM
State approves 334 retail pot stores; 61 in King County
Revised state rules for a recreational marijuana system include the location of 334 retail pot stores, an overall cap on pot production and limits on concentrated ownership of pot stores, growing and processing facilities.
In rules approved this morning, the state Liquor Control Board capped total pot production at 40 metric tons, or roughly 25 percent of the total state market for legal recreational, medical and black-market marijuana.
The cap, in turn, helped determine the number of stores and limits on the amount of pot growers could produce. Under the revised rules, growing facilities could be up to 30,000 square feet.
In a new wrinkle, no entity could hold more than three licenses in each of the producer, processor and retail categories.
Retail stores would be allocated by population and accessibility. Seattle would get the most with 21 stores. King County would get 61 stores in all. Snohomish County was allocated the second most with 35.
State officials did allocate stores in resistant cities such as Kent, setting up a possible legal battle between cities and licensees.
Public hearings on the revised rules will be held in early October. The board could adopt the revisions as early as Oct. 16. They would become effective 31 days later.
Licenses could be issued by mid-December, with stores opening next spring.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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