City Attorney Pete Holmes Wants At Least 50 Pot Stores for Seattle

In a letter to the Rules Coordinator of the Washington State Liquor Control Board about the implementation Washington’s Initiative 502 (a letter that was accompanied by a press conference Wednesday afternoon), City Attorney Pete Holmes pushed for at least 50 retail pot licenses to be awarded to Seattle, saying the proposed 21 licenses for the city will not meet the demand for pot in the Emerald City and will allow the illicit weed market to continue.

Holmes also called for I-502’s 1,000-foot distance rule - which prohibits pot shops from popping up with 1,000 feet of areas frequented by the under 21 crowd, like schools and playgrounds - to be measured by the “common path of travel” as opposed to “as the crow flies.” Doing so, according to Holmes, “most accurately measures how minors might attempt to access I-502 licensed facilities,” while also allowing for a sufficient number of pot storefronts to meet the city’s demand.

“We, too, want to keep licensed dispensers away from schools, playgrounds, and other locations identified in I-502, but this must be balanced with the equally important goal of supplanting the current illicit marijuana market with a sufficient number of I-502 stores,” Holmes states in a press release distributed to the media Wednesday.

Seeking final changes to the I-502 rule-making progress, Holmes went on to urge the Liquor Control Board to “give licensing preference to existing medical marijuana facilities that otherwise comply with – or demonstrate the ability to come into compliance with – I-502 requirements.” As stated in the press release, this compliance (or ability to comply) includes “application of the 1,000-foot rule.”

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