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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: Initiative 502

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May 7, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Pot lottery loser buys winning location

The wheeling and dealing has started for lottery-winning pot store locations. Seattle-based C & C Shop, which struck out in the recent lottery, announced Tuesday it bought Bremerton’s Better Buds, a lottery winner. “We placed another bet on this new industry’s future,” said Pete O’Neil, spokesman for C & C, which applied for stores in Bremerton, Lynnwood…

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Comments | More in Government | Topics: Initiative 502, marijuana, pot lottery

May 2, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Sodo, Ballard get cluster of winners in Seattle pot lottery

Map: Represented are the locations of pot-store lottery winners in Washington as well as potential pot-store locations in communities that did not have enough applicants to warrant a lottery. (Map by Matt Kreamer / Evan Bush) The first marijuana stores to open in Seattle are likely to be in Sodo, Ballard and on Aurora Avenue North,…

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April 15, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Pot vending machines may be allowed in new stores

Pot vending machines may be coming to Washington’s pot stores. They’re apparently rolling into Colorado, or at least into one Colorado shop. The Denver Post reported that an “automated, age-verifying climate-controlled” vending machine is being installed inside a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary. Washington state is considering allowing such machines in its recreational pot shops, according to Randy…

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Comments | More in Government, Health | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

March 13, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Legislature down to the wire on medical marijuana fixes

It’s unclear what will happen to medical marijuana as the state Legislature heads into Thursday, its last scheduled day of this session. The Senate passed Saturday sweeping new rules for the largely unregulated medical system to reconcile it with the state’s new recreational pot system. Sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center,  the bill passed with…

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January 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Bill Gates voted for legal pot, likes rules so far

Though not a big surprise to those who closely follow Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder said today he voted for Washington’s legal weed law in 2012. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Gates said he’s been impressed so far with the implementation of Initiative 502. The voter-approved law is scheduled to go into full effect around…

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December 31, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Nearly 5,000 applications have come in for pot licenses

A lot of wannabe pot entrepreneurs waited until the state deadline to apply for business licenses.

The number of applications increased by 1,200 in the past week, as state officials continue to process a glut of applications that came in just before the Dec. 20 deadline.

In data released Tuesday, the state Liquor Control Board has now received 4,946 license applications. But that’s not the final tally as an undetermined number remain unprocessed.

The state reports 2,113 applications for growing, 1,521 for processing, and 1,312 for retail stores.

There are no limits on the number of licenses for growing and processing, although the state has capped total growing space at 2 million square feet.

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Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

December 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Legal pot business has entrepreneurs bullish

After a big surge over the last week, Washington state has now received applications for 3,746 marijuana business licenses.

While some applicants are likely to be eliminated by residency requirements, background checks and improper locations, Washington state appears bullish about the legal marijuana business.

The 30-day window to apply for growing, processing and retail licenses closed on Dec. 20. But data released Tuesday by the state Liquor Control Board is not the final tally, as not all applications have been processed.

Growers have applied for licenses in 38 of 39 counties, with only tiny Garfield County (pop. 2,266 in 2010 census) not in the game. Applications for retail stores in cities such as Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver far exceed the number of state-allocated retail shops in those cities.

In all, entrepreneurs have applied for 867 retail licenses. The state allocated a total of 334 retail licenses.

Seattle would get just 21 retail shops under state rules. But entrepreneurs have filed 145 retail applications for Seattle. Some of those won’t pan out, like the applicant who listed the Central Library’s address for a shop. Stores must be stand-alone businesses, and no pot businesses can be within 1,000 feet of venues frequented by youth, including libraries.

Still, Seattle will likely have more qualified retail applicants than allotted stores. If that occurs, the state will conduct a lottery to determine winners.

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Comments | More in Government | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

December 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Seattle creates $27 fine for public pot smoking

Seattle police officers will soon have authority to write $27 tickets for consuming pot in public, similar to the sanctions for publicly drinking alcohol.

But don’t expect an avalanche of tickets from the cops who gave out bags of Doritos at Hempfest. The law unanimously approved by the City Council Monday calls for police to give warnings “whenever possible” before issuing fines.

The new fines take effect 30 days after the legislation is signed by the mayor.

“Everyone’s probably going to get several free passes,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department. “We want to be generous.”

Under the new law it’s likely that officers would fine only chronic offenders who ignore warnings, Whitcomb explained. He said giving warnings won’t be a hassle for police, and called them a good thing. Whitcomb said beat-officers patrolling places like Westlake Park get to know some people as fixtures. If officers find someone consuming after several warnings, then they’ll conclude that warnings aren’t working and will issue a fine.

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Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Initiative 502, marijuana, Seattle City Council

December 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

King County blocks new medical-marijuana shops

The Metropolitan King County Council today approved a one-year moratorium on new medical-marijuana dispensaries and gardens in the unincorporated areas of the county. In a unanimous vote, the council adopted the emergency legislation proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine. The bill went through an expedited process and takes effect immediately. Constantine believed the normal process might have alerted…

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Comments | More in Government, Health, Politics | Topics: Initiative 502, King County Council, medical marijuana

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