A Brief Story – The Fundamentals In Acquiring a Retail Cannabis License (Washington)


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My name is Rob Hendrix. I reside in Ellensburg, Washington. I have been married to the similar girl considering the fact that 1979, I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have lived in the similar home considering the fact that 1991. I have a BS in Economics from Central Washington University, class of 1982. I am the extremely final particular person you would ever count on to personal a pot shop.

For me the journey began in December 2013. We applied for a license to personal and operate a retail cannabis shop in Washington State following the passage of Initiative 502 in November 2012 legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

We started getting calls from our licensing specialist, a extremely difficult functioning State worker named Kimberly, in mid January 2014. We had been informed throughout these initial couple of calls the initial legal cannabis retailers had been slated to commence opening in July later that year and that she wanted us to be in the initial flight. Additional, we had been informed we, my wife Diane, and I would each be topic to two unique background checks a FBI as effectively as a Washington State Patrol background verify. Kimberly also walked us by way of the private finances portion of the checklist to come to be eligible for a retail license. This seemed straightforward and straight forward and great for us as we did not have a extremely difficult portfolio a home with a mortgage, two automobiles, a paltry savings account.

Washington State decided early on the finest way to award restricted numbers of licenses would be by lottery. We had to disclose our finances on a month-to-month basis, we had to prove residency, we had to have selected a appropriate and authorized place to include things like a rental/lease agreement or a signed valid mortgage on mentioned home. (This was an exciting step in the complete approach. The State mandated the potential place of any cannabis small business have to be at least 1000 feet from schools, hospitals, librairies, dayare facilities, any parks. Ellensburg is not a major town and it is a relatively conservative town so discovering a place that each met State needs and a single who’s owner would appear favorably on that place getting employed for a cannabis small business was extremely, extremely tricky. We succeeded in the end but just barely. That is yet another fascinating story but a single we do not have time for right here)

As we worked by way of the Spring toward the Might five lottery day, it became apparent there would be seven (7) qualifying entities in our hometown of Ellensburg exactly where the State had previously decided two (two) retailers would be situated. As you may perhaps have guessed, we had been selected #two but we basically opened the extremely initial retail cannabis shop in our City and County, but I’m receiving ahead of myself.

This is a extremely short account of the vetting approach in Washington State to get a retail cannabis license to operate a retail cannabis shop. In Washington State, the Cole Memo issued by the DOJ back in August 2013 was constantly the backdrop for all guidelines, regulations, WACs, RCWs and so forth. I am confident that even even though the Cole Memo has been metaphorically speaking “torn” up, New England, I am confident will generate a extremely related path for the citizens application approach. Verifying residency will be a important, verifying a lack of any important criminal background, verifying to some degree an potential to open and operate a small business, verifying areas and all personnel are all going to be important elements in garnering the spot in a lottery really should your State pick that path.

In Washington State our regulatory agency charged with overseeing all elements of monitoring cannabis businesses including enforcement is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, WSLCB, ordinarily referred to as the LCB. The LCB has access to all economic and transactions records through what is recognized as traceability. Its practically a certainty that New England States will have a related program in spot. This is needed amongst so numerous other controls to retain the Federalgovernment at bay so cannabis corporations can basically conduct small business devoid of worry, therefore the completely needed adherence to the letter as effectively as the spirit of this memo.

Your privacy will not be a higher priority with your State or the Federal government. Because cannabis is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, officially and technically you are about to come to be drug dealers and revenue launderers. The scrutiny is one thing to behold and a facet of this sector that, at least for now, have to be completely accepted and dealt with every day. No matter whether or not you are situated in Vermont or Massachusetts or anyplace else for that matter such as my house State of Washington, scrutiny and oversight will come to be portion of your every day routine.

There will be numerous queries, numerous roadblocks, numerous impediments in your journey really should you pick cannabis as portion of your future. Do your analysis, your due diligence. Know-how is energy and education and preparation will get you effectively by way of something everyone can throw at you. It has been life altering for me and my loved ones, but was by no means simple and as a result I say it is not for the faint of heart. But then once more, if it had been simple, everyone could do it!

Rob Hendrix, owner

Cannabis Central of Ellensburg

Cannabis Consulting Nationwide


509-833-5556 (cell)


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