Kirkland limited to two marijuana retail outlets, based on old population data

The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently announced Kirkland is allowed only two marijuana retail outlet stores within city boundaries and appropriate zones.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently set limits on how many marijuana retail outlets each city throughout the state can have.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently announced Kirkland is allowed only two marijuana retail outlet stores within city boundaries and appropriate zones.

The board issued the information on Wednesday after approving the proposed supplemental rules for Washington’s marijuana sales, production and processing likely to take effect Dec. 6.

Of 334 marijuana retail outlets throughout the state and of the 61 in King County, Kirkland’s limit stems from population taken from the 2010 Census and some consumption data from their consultant, a spokesman with the Liquor Control Board said on Wednesday.

However, the Census data used does not accurately represent Kirkland’s current population.

According to the 2010 population Census, Kirkland had 48,787 people. Now, there’s at least 81,000 residents after the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Evergreen Hill (Kingsgate) neighborhoods were added to Kirkland in June 2011.

The board issued a news release on Wednesday that said they applied a method that allocates retail store locations using Office of Financial Management population data, with a cap on the number of stores per county.

“Using OFM population data as well as adult consumption data supplied by the state’s marijuana consultant – BOTEC Analysis Corporation – the board allocated a proportionate number of stores and at-large stores available to serve other areas of the county,” according to the news release.

But Washington Office of Financial Management officials said their 2013 population forecast for Kirkland is 81,730 – a difference of 32,943 people.

The Liquor Control Board did not return calls from the Reporter on Thursday to verify why the 2010 population data was used.

Nonetheless, two marijuana retail stores will have limited space to sell in Kirkland due to the small amount of commercial zoning outside of the 1,000-foot radius of schools, public parks, libraries, transit centers and more.

The board added more rules and had to restart the rule-making process after the public voiced some opposition.

“These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly-regulated and controlled system, while providing reasonable access to participation in the market,” said Board chair Sharon Foster in a news release. “Importantly, we believe these rules meet the eight federal government enforcement priorities within [the recent] guidance memo from the Department of Justice.”

The board said the new rules provide a “heightened level of consumer safety” by including packaging and labeling that indicates dosage and warnings, child-resistant packaging for marijuana in solid and liquid forms, lab tested marijuana, defined serving sizes and package limits on marijuana in solid form and additional educational signage.

Marijuana production plants are not to produce more than 40 metric tons and the facilities must not exceed 2 million square feet.

There is a limit on how many producer or processor licenses one entity or principal must have, as well as no more than three retail licenses.

The 1,000-foot radius measurement changed to start the radius from the most direct route over or across public modes of transportation.

Several terms and locations were redefined – recreation center or facilities now include those owned or managed by a charitable nonprofit organization, city, county, state or federal government.

Additionally, advertising must not make false statements or have false or misleading photos.

To view how many marijuana retail stores other cities are allowed, visit liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502 and click on “Retail Store Locations” to the left under “Rule Making.”

For more information, visit www.liq.wa.gov.

 

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