State will have to be selective when granting pot licenses

Fewer than half of Grays Harbor County’s marijuana store applicants will receive permits from the state Liquor Control Board, as 16 applications have been submitted and the state will only grant six licenses.

Six applications have been submitted for Aberdeen alone: two on Heron Street, three on Wishkah Street and one on State Street. In Hoquiam, three retail applications have been submitted: one on Riverside Avenue, one on Perry Avenue and one on Simpson Avenue. Ocean Shores has three applications: one on Dune Avenue, one on Ocean Shores Boulevard and one on Chance a la Mer.

But only one permit will be awarded in each of these three cities.

The remaining three permits will be awarded in other Grays Harbor cities and unincorporated areas of the county. Six applicants between Porter, Montesano, Ocean City and Grayland are vying for the permits.

Pacific County also has more applicants than available permits for marijuana stores. The state Liquor Control Board is considering four applications that applications that come from Ilwaco, Raymond or Seaview. Only two permits will be issued in the county.

The counties have also seen several applications for marijuana producer and processor permits. In Grays Harbor County, there are 29 pending producer applications and 17 processor applications. Pacific County has 36 pending producer applications and 30 processor applications. Statewide, there are 8,580 pending marijuana business applications: 2,113 for marijuana producers, 1521 for marijuana processors and 1312 for marijuana retailers. But the state Liquor Control Board will only issue 334 marijuana retail permits in Washington.

However, the board’s rules don’t set any limits for the number of growing and processing operations in the counties. Those who hold a marijuana producer license can grow marijuana to sell to other marijuana producers or to marijuana processors.

A marijuana processor license allows businesses to process, package and label marijuana for wholesale to a marijuana retailer. A marijuana retail license allows businesses to sell usable marijuana, marijuana-infused products and marijuana paraphernalia to people 21 and older.

The Liquor Control Board started accepting applications Nov. 18 and closed the application window Dec. 19. The board will take a few months to process the applications, concluding in February or March, according to Liquor Control Board Spokesman Mikhail Carpenter.

“Our licenses are usually processed in about 60 to 90 days, so that’s what we’re aiming for,” Carpenter said.


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