3 out of Jefferson County’s 4 allowable retail marijuana spots originate from Brinnon

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

BRINNON — Three of four applications to open a retail marijuana store submitted from Jefferson County originate from Brinnon.

However, others from locations across the county are expected by the end of the application period Dec. 20.

“We don’t expect there will be three open businesses in Brinnon,” said one of the applicants, Fay Beck.

“We just wanted to make sure that Brinnon got at least one of the four retail licenses in Jefferson County and didn’t get left behind.”

Those who seek to open a retail marijuana establishment have 30 days to put in an application with the Washington State Liquor Control Board beginning Nov. 21.

These applications only require a company name, a physical address and a filing fee, followed by a qualifying process that requires a background check and a business plan.

The schedule for these requirements are undetermined, according to Liquor Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter.

The three applicants from Brinnon are Beck; her son, Keith Beck; and Nicole Black.

The fourth Jefferson County applicant is identified as Fiddler’s Green at 1291 Chimacum Road, although neither the landlord nor the tenant had any knowledge of an application for a marijuana operation.

Milo Vandecar, who owns the property, said a real estate agent and her client came to the house, took measurements and asked whether the house would be for sale. They did not follow up.

But that client, who is not identified in the public portion of the application, used the address without permission, about which Vandecar said he has no opinion.

Carpenter said the addresses on the application will not be vetted. Inspections of the locations will be conducted when the business plan is submitted.

Beck said she does not yet have a business plan.

“We are just waiting for the state to contact us about the next phase and what we need to do,” she said.

“The process is complicated. We get different answers from different sources, so we are waiting to hear what’s actually true.”

Black said she has a business plan template but is unable to fill in any of the details.

“We don’t know what kinds of products will be available, what they will cost, what the distribution will be and what that will cost,” Black said.

“So right now, any business plan we write or submit will have a bit of fiction.”

Black has scheduled a community meeting to discuss the proposal at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, at the Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101.

“My primary purpose is to keep the community informed by appreciating and addressing their concerns,” Black said, adding that the people who have heard about the meeting have reacted positively and have jokingly suggested that she “bring samples” to the meeting.

Once a number of applications has been completed and business plans submitted, the state will hold a lottery of all qualified applicants.

Carpenter said the lottery has no scheduled date but will occur sometime in 2014.

Jefferson County has been allocated four licenses, one in Port Townsend and three in the unincorporated areas.

With 1,000-foot-buffer rules and a requirement that retail operations be located in a business district, there is only a small area adjacent to the Port Townsend QFC that meets those requirements.

The city imposed a six-month moratorium on granting retail licenses that ends March 6 but can be renewed.

The city Planning Commission has scheduled a meeting to discuss the zoning issues at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in council chambers, 540 Water St.

Since the locations are not permanent, someone could file an application before the deadline keyed to a temporary address, like that in Chimacum and transfer that to a Port Townsend location prior to the final application.

If no acceptable Port Townsend location is secured, that license could be transferred to an area outside the city limits, but those guidelines have yet to be decided, Carpenter said.

Licenses will not be granted with regard to location. If all three Brinnon applicants meet the criteria and win the lottery, multiple stores could be located in Brinnon, Carpenter said.

“We expect there will be applications from all locations, as we are only halfway through the process,” Carpenter said.

Four Clallam County applications have been received, with three of them under the name of Green Orchard, located at 333-A E. First St., Port Angeles

Weeds at 1200 Washington St., No. 105, in Sequim, is the fourth applicant.

The names of all the applicants are posted every Tuesday on the Liquor Board’s website at http://tinyurl.com/pdn-potlist in the form of a downloadable spreadsheet.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 08. 2013 6:02PM
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