- About Us
Landlords react to marijuana store backlash from Kirkland community | Map
After receiving several “nasty” phone calls from Kirkland residents, the landlord of 1818 Market Street will no longer lease the property, which has garnered interest from marijuana retail license applicants in recent weeks.
The property is selling for $769,000.
Listing agent for the property Mansor Baghshomali said the property owner never signed a lease agreement with any of the three marijuana retail license applicants -- McCormick Green, Biloxi Green LLC or Mind’s Eye -- but was simply exploring options.
“Everybody was coming at us asking for the property,” Baghshomali said, who works with Skyline Properties, Inc.
The landlord went to the city of Kirkland to let them know of the change and city officials promptly took a sign down that notified the public of the marijuana license applications.
The property is within zoning code and complies with the Washington State Liquor Control Board imposed 1,000 feet buffer between schools and other public places where children might be. But because the commercially zoned property is encompassed in a heavily residential neighborhood, many in the community oppose the location because of the direct route from Kirkland Middle School.
“I can say that when we found out from the Liquor Control Board, the Council was surprised, a couple of months ago, when that Market site came out,” said Mayor Joan McBride. “When they figured out where these shops would go, no one would have thought the Market neighborhood would be one of those places.”
Although none of the businesses had secured a lease for that location, business owners added the address to their application to the Liquor Control Board because it was where they hoped to operate business.
Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesman with the Liquor Control Board, said applicants need only demonstrate they have a right to the property or that they’ve had discussions with the landlord to apply for a marijuana retail license.
“Ideally, you’ve had these discussions, you know where you’re going to locate … but you may not have secured that location,” Carpenter said, adding that eventually the applicant would have to demonstrate they’ve secured that location during the licensing process, which will take some time to sort out.
Another marijuana retail license applicant under the business name Green Bee has also had landlord issues.
Jeff Carney, owner of motorcycle shop Cyclpath, applied for a marijuana retail license to be at the location of his shop, located at 12700 NE 124th St., Ste. 1 in the Totem Lake area.
“It’s all about the money and I’m tired of not doing trends in my other businesses,” said Carney, whose business has been at that location for almost 15 years. “Because we’ve stayed out of trends to stay steady and now I’m like, ‘Screw that, man. I’m jumping on the bandwagon.’”
The location of Cyclpath is within the city of Kirkland zoning code for a marijuana retail outlet but his landlord’s “not cool with it.”
“I’m spending some time, effort and money to not know whether I qualify or not, other than I qualify in my physical area but yes, as far as my landlord’s concerned, I don’t qualify,” he said.
Carney said his landlord blames his business partner and that people constantly confront him about leasing some of his properties for marijuana.
Carney isn’t sure if his landlord can kick him out if he is approved by the Liquor Control Board but he has some back-up places in mind and has been working with some agents.
“I need to protect my space, I need to protect my business so I don’t think it’s cool to sit in my parking lot and get stoned,” he said. “People may not like me in the end but I’m going to protect my business.”
Carney said he is just trying to qualify now and hopes that because his current business has been in a steady spot for some time and that he will be able to use that to his advantage.
Other applicants seeking a marijuana producing and processing license are likely to run into barriers, as well.
In Good Spirits business owner applied for a producing license to be located at 13613 NE 126th Place, Ste. 350, but an employee with The Catering Company, the business currently occupying that space, said they have been there for 13 years. The Catering Company owner did not submit the producer license application and the employee indicated the applicant may have made an error in their application by using The Catering Company’s address.
Similarly, it appears the location that the Wakalolo business owner used in his or her application for a marijuana processing license may be out of reach.
The space located at 723 Ninth Ave., near Deru Market in the Norkirk neighborhood, is a communal space shared by 15 different producers. Because the businesses share the location with “Block 170 Kitchen,” a communal commercial kitchen space, the marijuana processing business would not be allowed because the law mandates marijuana processors must be in an enclosed room or kitchen.
Those looking to get a marijuana retail, producing or processing license have until Dec. 20 to submit their applications to the Liquor Control Board.
After the Liquor Control Board receives all of the applications, there will be a license processing period. After licenses are processed, there will be a lottery to determine which retail business will get to be in the city for which they applied. Kirkland is allowed just two marijuana retail outlets, per state law.
The businesses will then need to apply for business licenses within the city before their business is approved.
The city of Kirkland zones where marijuana sales, processing and production are prohibited and potentially allowed as of Dec. 9. The areas are subject to change. PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF KIRKLAND