Kirkland's marijuana retail applicants cut in recent lottery | UPDATE

The city of Kirkland received its first marijuana processing license application on April 18. - Contributed
The city of Kirkland received its first marijuana processing license application on April 18.
— image credit: Contributed

The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently trimmed the 30-plus marijuana retail license applicants for Kirkland to 11 in a lottery held at the end of April.

And that number drops again to eight after considering the current city-imposed interim marijuana retail zoning regulations.

The lottery produced the following applicants in ranked order: 1. Twisted Green Corps, 8734 120th Ave. NE; 2. 420 PM, 8734 120th Ave. NE; 3. Higher Vibrations, 12504 116th Ave. NE; 4. Dan’s Herbs, 12543 Totem Lake Boulevard NE; 5. Twisted Sacks Corp., 8734 120th Ave. NE; 6. Retail Marijuana, 1818 Market St.; 7. Kush, 12525 Totem Lake Boulevard NE; 8. The Novel Tree, 1313 Market St. Ste. 1000; 9. Cema Investments, 12543 Totem Lake Boulevard NE; 10. Buddy’s Buds, 12525 Totem Lake Boulevard NE; 11. 420 PM, 8734 120th Ave. NE; 12. Stoner Haze, 8734 120th Ave. NE.

The business 420 PM has two applications for the same location, 8734 120th Ave. NE, that won the lottery. According to Mikhail Carpenter with the Liquor Control Board, if the business is disqualified in their screening process then all applications will be taken out of the ranked order and the board will continue on to the next business on the list.

Kirkland is allowed two pot shops per state law.

The applicants will need to pass several criteria before they are given a marijuana retail license. The screening includes a criminal history and financial investigation, and the business location must not be within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other area where children congregate, per Initiative 502.

The 1,000-foot buffer disqualifies Higher Vibrations, according to a city of Kirkland zoning map.

And because the city imposed a moratorium banning marijuana stores in two Market Street zones and along Kirkland School Walk Routes, The Novel Tree and Retail Marijuana are also disqualified if they do not find other viable addresses.

Officials with the Liquor Control Board have stated in the past that applicants can update their business address in their application before a license is issued.

None of the business’s potential addresses fell within the three industrial zones city officials added for marijuana retail as they made the interim zoning regulations back in March.

With three locations already knocked out, only three remain at this time.

Four businesses - Twisted Green Corps., 420 PM, Twisted Sacks Corp. and Stoner Haze - will compete for the address near Kirkland’s Costco.

It’s a multi-story single-family home with several landscaping trucks for Niendaber Landscaping LLC parked out front.

The Reporter tried to contact Paul Nienaber, owner of the landscaping business, but received no response.

Eric Shields, the city of Kirkland planning director, said this location is a “challenged site” because there are some wetland regulations in which potential business owners would need to comply with. But that’s not to say it “won’t work out,” he said, adding that he and other city officials recently checked out the site after the information was released.

The other potential spot is a where a RadioShack is located in the Totem Lake area. Sam, a RadioShack manager, directed the Reporter to call RadioShack’s corporate office, to which we received no reply, but not before stating he hadn’t been told about the marijuana businesses and that the electronic store has been at that location for seven years. Before that, it was at the mall.

Dan's Herbs and Cema Investments will compete for that location.

In the same building as RadioShack, Kush and Buddy’s Bud have used the address of Vortex Music and Movies in their license application.

Vortex owner Daren Compton said right now there’s a lot of “maybes.”

“I can tell you there’s been a lot of people poking around and asking me questions regarding who’s the landlords, what’s my lease, what would it cost for me to move away or go away,” Compton said, adding that his landlords were at first against the idea of leasing to a marijuana retail business but have since become more open.

Compton said because his lease is still active, his landlords have told him to expect the phone to be ringing. He said people have been very antsy.

“If one moves next door to me, that’s good for business,” he said. “We’d probably share some of the same demographics.”

But as far as taking his business location?

“I don’t want to close my business, I don’t like the idea of relocating,” he said. “Now, I’m just saying whatever comes up I’m willing to consider it.”

Vortex Music and Movies has been at the Totem Lake location for about two years. Compton wouldn’t disclose how many years were left on his lease.

The Liquor Control Board contracted with the Social and Economic Research Center, Washington State University, the accounting firm for Washington’s Lottery, and Kraght-Snell of Seattle to “independently produce” the rank-ordered list for each Washington jurisdiction that qualified.

“Being identified as the apparent successful applicant is not a guarantee that the selected applicant will receive a license,” according to a Liquor Control Board’s news release.

Shields said city officials have only been notified about one potential marijuana license application, which was announced earlier as the “Tier 3 Producer and Processor” applicant using 13513 NE 126th Place as his or her potential address.

When the city is notified by the Liquor Control Board for any of the above mentioned marijuana applications, each application will be reviewed by the Planning and Community Development department, Fire, Building, Public Works and the Police Departments. City officials will have 20 days to respond with approval, objection or no response.

Each approved applicant will also be required to go through the city’s business license application process before a business is certified within Kirkland.

The board expects to begin issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July, according the board’s most recent news release.

For more information on this process, visit

For more information about the lottery, email or send letters to Washington State Liquor Control Board, Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 43098, Olympia, WA 98504-3098. The Liquor Control Board also offers an email notification subscription at


The green points indicate locations that seem to work within the I-502 requirements for marijuana retail outlets, as well as city of Kirkland zoning code. The red points are locations that fall inside the 1,000-foot buffer for schools, public parks, and other ares where children may be present, as well as those locations that violate Kirkland's interim zoning regulations for marijuana retail outlets. The blue point is the location of the one license application the Liquor Control Board has notified the city of. It is a license application for a Tier 3 Producer and Processor license. This map was created by Raechel Dawson with Google Maps.

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