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Kent marijuana business state applicants up to 18

The state Liquor Control Board has received 18 Kent applicants so far for recreational marijuana businesses despite a city ban to prohibit such businesses.

City officials also plan to replace the temporary ban with a permanent ban in 2014 by changing land use codes.

Ten more applicants from Kent were on the latest list released Dec. 17 by the liquor board. The deadline for applications was Dec. 20. A final list of applicants is expected to be released the week of Jan. 6.

Kent has four retail applicants, eight producer and six processing applicants for recreational marijuana businesses. Six of the producer and processing applicants are for the same properties.

Pat Fitzpatrick, acting city attorney for Kent, said many cities with bans against marijuana businesses also have numerous applicants.

"Receiving an application in a city that has a moratorium on marijuana land uses is not unique to Kent," Fitzpatrick said in an email. "Vancouver, which also has a moratorium, appears to have received 26 applications. Federal Way, Renton and Auburn have moratoriums and all have received applications. Applications have also been received in cities like SeaTac, where permanent code language prohibits marijuana land uses."

Kent's six-month moratorium against recreational marijuana businesses expires May 27. But Fitzpatrick said plans are underway in the city for a permanent ban.

"Before the expiration of the moratorium, the Land Use and Planning Board will make recommendations to the City Council regarding a permanent policy relating to marijuana land uses," he said.

If Kent applicants receive a recreational marijuana license from the liquor board, Fitzpatrick said the city won't issue them any permits. If the business opens anyway, he said the city will take action. The liquor board will issue licenses to applicants even if a city bans recreational marijuana businesses.

"Kent’s City Council set a policy that marijuana land uses are not permitted in Kent," Fitzpatrick said. "This office is prepared to defend and enforce that policy. If the Liquor Control Board issues a license, we expect the applicant will comply with Kent’s laws, and if the applicant chooses not to, we will determine whether to seek relief in state or federal court."

The City Council voted 4-3 in November to ban marijuana businesses because the drug remains illegal under federal law.

The liquor board has received 2,444 applicants statewide, including 512 retail store applicants. The state will limit the number of stores to 334 and has limits in each city, including three in Kent.

Fitzpatrick said city officials didn't know how many applicants to expect.

"Washington is only the second state (Colorado is the other) to allow for the production, processing and sale of marijuana," Fitzpatrick said. "The city is not surprised, because it had no historical information to form an expectation. It remains to be seen just how many of the applicants are legitimately attempting to follow the rules established by the Liquor Control Board. We have no idea how many of the applicants will satisfy the LCBs requirements."

Liquor board staff will investigate each application before approving a license. An investigator will look at numerous documents including operating plans, floor plans, personal/criminal history statement, fingerprint cards, copy of approved identification, business structure forms, lease information, purchase agreements, financial/source of funds statement, copy of bank statements and/or tax returns and affidavits.

Businesses also must be at least 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds, recreational centers, child care centers, public parks, public transit centers and libraries.

A retailer allows for sale of useable marijuana/marijuana infused products. A producer produces marijuana for sale at wholesale to processors and allows for production, possession, delivery and distribution.

A processing facility processes, packages, and labels marijuana/marijuana infused product for sale at wholesale to marijuana retailers and allows for processing, packaging, possession, delivery and distribution.

Kent marijuana applicants

Retail:

• Hong Mart Smoke Plus, 23635 104th Ave. S.E.

• Odyssey Smoke Shop Inc., 23254 Military Road S.

• Weedsdom, 7641 S. 259th St., Suite 101

• Soo P Hong, 228 Washington Ave. S.

Producer and/or processing:

• Hummockville, 8001 S. 194th St.

• Organiccare, 20521 121st Way S.E.

• BWIT, 26010 42nd Ave. S.

• Cul-De-Sac Kush, 26810 115th Pl. S.E.

• A.E. Brown Co's, 23955 58th Ct. S. No. E-3

• Always Greener Distributors, 19042 72nd Ave. S.

• Orchardview West, 8031 S. 194th St.

• Spinning Heads, Inc., 11024 S.E. 208th St.

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