Washington: Lawmaker Wants To Increase Legal Marijuana Licensing Fees
By Steve Elliott
Well, that didn't take long.
Months before any marijuana stores have even opened, one Washington state lawmaker is already proposing that license fees required to grow, process, or sell cannabis be increased.
Rep. Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw), who chairs the House committee in charge of marijuana, said Washington will be leaving "money on the table" unless it increases the cannabis licensing fees, reports The Associated Press.
Hurst wants to create a new "certificate" to be issued by the Liquor Control Board, which was put in charge of marijuana under Initiative 502, the cannabis legalization measure approved by Washington voters in November.
His bill would make the certificate a required precursor to obtaining marijuana licenses, and it would require the Liquor Control Board to set the price of the certificate and of the licenses.
Under I-502, those wishing to grow, process or sell marijuana legally must already pay a $250 application fee and a $1,000 annual renewal fee. Hurst says that's too cheap.
His bill, in a concession to those who've pointed out almost no urban areas would be eligible to have a marijuana store, under current restrictions, would allow cannabis businesses to be located closer to parks, schools and daycares. It changes the lower limit to 500 feet instead of the currently required 1,000 feet.