A Quick Story – The Fundamentals In Getting a Retail Cannabis License (Washington)


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Rob Hendrix

My name is Rob Hendrix. I reside in Ellensburg, Washington. I have been married to the identical girl due to the fact 1979, I have 3 little ones and 5 grandchildren. I have lived in the identical residence due to the fact 1991. I have a BS in Economics from Central Washington University, class of 1982. I am the pretty final individual 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 pretty challenging operating State worker named Kimberly, in mid January 2014. We had been informed in the course of these initially handful of calls the initially legal cannabis retailers had been slated to commence opening in July later that year and that she wanted us to be in the initially flight. Additional, we had been informed we, my wife Diane, and I would each be topic to two diverse background checks a FBI as nicely as a Washington State Patrol background verify. Kimberly also walked us by way of the individual finances portion of the checklist to grow to be eligible for a retail license. This seemed very simple and straight forward and best for us as we did not have a pretty difficult portfolio a residence with a mortgage, two automobiles, a paltry savings account.

Washington State decided early on the ideal 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 stated home. (This was an fascinating step in the complete procedure. The State mandated the potential place of any cannabis business enterprise ought to be at least 1000 feet from schools, hospitals, librairies, dayare facilities, any parks. Ellensburg is not a huge town and it is a relatively conservative town so getting a place that each met State specifications and one particular who’s owner would appear favorably on that place getting made use of for a cannabis business enterprise was pretty, pretty tough. We succeeded in the end but just barely. That is one more fascinating story but one particular we do not have time for right here)

As we worked by way of the Spring toward the May well 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 could have guessed, we had been selected #two but we essentially opened the pretty initially retail cannabis shop in our City and County, but I’m finding ahead of myself.

This is a pretty short account of the vetting procedure in Washington State to acquire 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 usually the backdrop for all guidelines, regulations, WACs, RCWs and so forth. I am positive that even even though the Cole Memo has been metaphorically speaking “torn” up, New England, I am confident will develop a pretty equivalent path for the citizens application procedure. Verifying residency will be a important, verifying a lack of any substantial criminal background, verifying to some degree an potential to open and operate a business enterprise, verifying places and all staff are all going to be important elements in garnering the spot in a lottery really should your State decide on 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, commonly referred to as the LCB. The LCB has access to all economic and transactions records by means of what is recognized as traceability. Its practically a certainty that New England States will have a equivalent technique in spot. This is needed amongst so a lot of other controls to preserve the Federalgovernment at bay so cannabis organizations can essentially conduct business enterprise without having worry, therefore the completely needed adherence to the letter as nicely as the spirit of this memo.

Your privacy will not be a higher priority with your State or the Federal government. Considering the fact that cannabis is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, officially and technically you are about to grow to be drug dealers and revenue launderers. The scrutiny is anything to behold and a facet of this market that, at least for now, ought to be completely accepted and dealt with every day. No matter regardless of whether you are situated in Vermont or Massachusetts or anyplace else for that matter like my dwelling State of Washington, scrutiny and oversight will grow to be portion of your every day routine.

There will be a lot of inquiries, a lot of roadblocks, a lot of impediments in your journey really should you decide on cannabis as portion of your future. Do your investigation, your due diligence. Expertise is energy and education and preparation will get you effectively by way of something anybody can throw at you. It has been life altering for me and my loved ones, but was in no way effortless and as a result I say it is not for the faint of heart. But then once more, if it had been effortless, anybody could do it!

Rob Hendrix, owner

Cannabis Central of Ellensburg

Cannabis Consulting Nationwide


509-833-5556 (cell)


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