No applicant survived to vie for Burien’s one retail pot license
by Jack Mayne
For the foreseeable future, there will be no retail sales of marijuana in Burien because all applicants failed the Liquor Control Board’s initial screening.
Chip Davis, Burien’s community service director, said the city originally had six applicants and was surprised Burien was not included in the recent lottery to pick the top businesses applying to sell pot over the counter inside the city.
The Liquor Control Board said the initial Burien applicants either didn’t supply requested documents or had problems with criminal history or its chosen store location.
That means no store for Burien for an unspecified time. The board says there will be no new or reapplications accepted right away.
“The unclaimed licenses will remain unissued,” said board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter on Thursday afternoon (May 8). “Our first priority is to get the system up and running, after all the present applications are processed and all licenses issued the board will study the market to see if/when more licenses are needed.”
There are surviving applicants for the single stores in Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila. There also several surviving applicants for a potential store in White Center.
Part of the process means the applicant must pass muster with the city government, so the Burien City Council, police rules and ordinances must be complied with.
A city can decide not to have pot sales.
The liquor board is charged under voter approved Initiative 502 with regulating the retail sales of marijuana in small amounts to the general public. The board has allotted 61 stores to King County with one each in Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila. Seattle will have 21 stores and there are 11 stores for unincorporated or small city areas.
One store is expected to be located in White Center where medicinal marijuana stores are already located.
When will licenses be issued in cities and areas with approved applicants?
“Hard to say,” said a Liquor Board representative. “Each application is unique and we have thousands to process.”
Again, applicants have to pass reference at Burien City Hall.
“One condition of the license is that in order to operate an applicant must be in compliance with all of the local authorities rules and regulations,” said Liquor Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter. “Essentially that means that if they meet our criteria they get a license but to operate they need to meet the city’s criteria. That makes the issue of zoning, bans, moratoria a conversation between the applicant and the city, not the WSLCB.”
The Liquor Control Board has said it hopes to begin issuing licenses in early July.