Artwork by Ben Livingston

Legal Cannabis Week #106

More like legal cannabis month

November went quick and I haven’t sent an update for a month. By now I’m fairly practiced at blaming my toddler for my tardiness and delay, but mostly I’ve been focused on trying to push through my first real estate deal, which required great effort to convince state regulators that they mapped something wrong.

I’ve also been trying to broker deals between 502 applicants and investors, which is fickle business. I tell folks up front that the likelihood of two pot entrepreneurs coming to an agreement on anything is next to nothing, and that any sale of or investment in a pot business will be a minor miracle. Knowing that, we can find a path forward, but it usually involves some frustration and wasted time. So I’m doing that, too.

For those reasons, this is a monthly update. To make the news summaries more digestible, I broke them into categories: Washington, legalization states, other states, and international news. Hopefully it helps.

Sell your 502 company

I have several clients who want to buy into a tier 3 producer-processor. The ideal seller will be an LLC, because investors can’t buy into a sole proprietorship. And the ideal seller will not want a significant or long-term equity stake, because almost nobody wants you for a pot-growing business partner. Sad, I know, but the point to take away is this: the simpler the deal, the more likely the miracle will happen.

To be clear, I can shop around whatever deal you like, but if your terms (retaining half ownership, using your property, putting you in charge) require an investor to trust that you can successfully crop cannabis under a 502 regime, I have nobody for that deal. Nobody really cares that you are the best medical pot grower around.

There are roughly 100 licensed tier 3 producers now, and nearly 600 companies holding almost 1,000 pending tier 3 applications. My clients would like to buy one of those companies. Previously I mentioned minimum prices of $15k for tier 1, $25k for tier 2, and $40k for tier 3. Currently for a tier 3, I can get you a minimum of $75k.

If you don’t have the capital or wherewithal to make your massive pot growing plans a reality, $75,000 is an amazing holiday bonus. It’s probably more than most legal pot growers will make after taxes anyway. Scratch that lotto ticket, and cash out for Christmas. Contact me at 206-335-9214 or and let’s discuss options.

Month in review: Washington

Chlormet Technologies bought pot-growing land in Whatcom County

Washington cannabis rules restrict pot businesses from dominating the market.

Michael Perkins discussed the murder of his roommate Ryan Prince, and his new recreational pot shop.

Washington Court of Appeals, Division Two overturned a Wahkiakum County ban on biosolid fertilizers, a case some say could apply to marijuana bans

Seth Simpson and David Ahl sued the City of Bellevue over zoning that requires 1,000 feet between retail cannabis stores.

Cannabis prices dropped in Longview-area pot shops.

Cannabis sales slowed slightly in Whatcom County.

Tate Kapple opened Cannabis & Glass in Spokane — and only sells herb with new pipes. Creative solutions to exorbitant taxes.

Sharon Foster and Chris Marr announced departures from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board next year.

Anthony and Heather Owen opened Hidden Bush, Clallam County’s first legal pot shop.

The Daily News accepts cannabis advertising.

Spokane County Planning Commission held a public hearing on cannabis zoning.

Randy Williams sold nearly 300 pounds of cannabis at auction.

Tumwater Community Development Department considers two cannabis production facility proposals.

West Richland City Council banned I-502 businesses.

Thieves robbed a dispensary owner’s home in Pierce County, and a rolling gun battle ensued.

Federal prosecutors charged two men with burning their planned dispensary location, which is in the same spot as four I-502 applications.

Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus discussed a proposal to add bus stops, churches and trailheads to the I,000-foot setbacks required for I-502 businesses.

Goldendale Mayor Clinton Baze faces criticism for not showing a marijuana store notice to the city council.

Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council increased cannabis tax revenue forecasts.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes filed civil complaints against five marijuana businesses for violating city code, with six more coming soon.

Shelly Clark campaigns against marijuana stores in Spokane Valley.

Tacoma News Tribune suggests tightening regulations on medical cannabis doctors to reign in dispensaries.

Sam Burke plans to open Capitol Hill’s only legal pot shop.

City of Seattle hosted a medical marijuana forum.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Vic VanderSchoor upheld Kennewick’s I-502 business ban.

O Bee Credit Union accepts cannabis business accounts.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed medical marijuana dispensary legislation.

Marijuana Policy Project purchased billboards in Colorado and Washington encouraging parents to lock up pot snacks.

Ken Weaver opened Slow Burn in Union Gap.

Sensible Washington backs a bill to defelonize all personal drug possession.

Clarkston City Council banned I-502 retail stores.

Prosser School District refused a $14,000 donation from a legal cannabis business.

Tad Seaton and Cynthia Ventura sued the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board over Kennewick’s I-502 ban.

WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster answered questions from the Seattle Times.

Dr. Herbert Hill and Jessica Tufariello research a marijuana breath test at Washington State University.

Judge Thomas Rice postponed the Kettle Falls Five federal medical marijuana trial.

Woodland City Council banned retail pot shops while zoning for production and processing.

Tacoma City Council prepares to shut down medical cannabis dispensaries by summer.

Washington cannabis consumers purchased over $1 million in pot products the day before Thanksgiving.

Some Everett residents complained about a potential pot shop.

San Juan County Council considers an I-502 production moratorium.

Green Friday fell super short for Washington cannabis retailers.

San Juan Sun Grown became Washington’s first certified sustainable marijuana farm certification.

Salal Credit Union banks legal cannabis money.

Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Michael Evans upheld Clark County’s I-502 ban.

Lewis County Board of County Commissioners renewed an I-502 moratorium.

King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel denied an injunction request to close Uncle Ike’s pot shop.

Darrell Shaw started Whitman County’s second I-502 production facility.

Seattle Times purchased medical cannabis at Seattle Caregivers and 420 Collective without showing any paperwork.

San Juan Island County Councilman Bob Jarmin explained his reasoning for an I-502 production moratorium, and invited community feedback.

Mason County Public Utility District 3 approved electricity rates for marijuana growers.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles drafted legislation to legalize cannabis sharing and home grows.

Taxes hamper I-502 businesses.

Tri-City Herald chastised Prosser School District for refusing a $14,000 donation from a legal cannabis business.

Puyallup City Council banned I-502 businesses.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued 120 cannabis business violations since September.

Roy Piercy and Frederick Adamkiewicz died by gunshot trying to burglarize a pot growing dad in Pierce County.

Napavine City Council renewed an I-502 moratorium.

Randy Williams donated proceeds from a marijuana auction, finally.

Susan Reid opened Vashon Island’s first legal cannabis producer.

Spokane County cannabis sales topped $1 million for November.

Spokane Valley City Council enacted an I-502 moratorium with no public notice.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray plans to crack down on dispensaries and delivery services.

Wenatchee City Council zoned for legal cannabis.

Month in review: Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, D.C.

Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued an FAQ on marijuana legalization.

Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn announced legislation to clarify recreational marijuana rules.

Jim Klahr died in Oregon. Smoke a bowl, and long live Jim Klahr.

Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office dismissed pending marijuana cases.

City of Portland denied a permit to Hempstalk.

Hempstalk sued the City of Portland for denying its permit.

Colorado cannabis taxes decreased in September.

Boulder County, Colorado levies an additional 2.1 cents per kilowatt for cannabis producers.

U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Jared Polis, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Dana Rohrbacher called on Congress to let alone D.C.’s voter-approved cannabis legalization law.

Cannabis Grand Cru showcased cannabis speakers in Aspen, Colorado.

Republican lawmakers doubt they will block D.C.’s cannabis legalization initiative.

Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski introduced an ordinance to ban pot businesses in Anchorage.

League of Oregon Cities plans to ask the legislature to legalize municipal marijuana taxes.

Alaska Department of Law plans to continue cannabis prosecutions until the legalization law takes effect. Nice guys.

Colorado Division of Financial Services issued a charter to a potential cannabis credit union.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson indicated a desire to hold a hearing on cannabis legalization in D.C.

USA Today tested Colorado pot products with disappointing results.

Metro Cannabis sued Aurora, Colorado over a denied pot shop license.

Alaska Public Offices Commission ruled Charlo Greene must comply with a subpoena for campaign finance information.

Denver International Airport considers a ban on pot-themed souvenirs.

D.C. City Council enacted legislation banning pre-employment cannabis screening.

Oregon State University Extension Service reminded Master Gardeners to keep mum on now-legal marijuana.

Alaska Sen. Lesil McGuire released a report on Alaska legalization.

Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh Stanley intend to quintuple their production of high-CBD cannabis.

Congress blocked implementation of cannabis legalization in D.C.

Colorado pot shops sold $64 million in product during October.

Breckenridge, Colorado banned retail cannabis shops on Main Street.

Oregon Legislature earmarked $583,000 for legalization startup costs.

D.C. activists protested Congress for blocking legalization in the nation’s capital.

Eleanor Holmes Norton disagrees that a Republican rider to the federal spending bill would overturn legalization in D.C.

Prohibitionists proposed a donor-shielding anti-marijuana nonprofit.

President Obama chided Congress for interfering in D.C. elections.

Month in review: other states

U.S. marijuana arrests decreased 7.5%.

Regular cannabis use changes the brain, study suggests.

Arkansas Hemp and Marijuana Amendment seeks to legalize cannabis.

Concord, New Hampshire City Council considers medical cannabis zoning.

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker intends to vigorously oppose cannabis legalization.

Christie Callaghan sued Darlington Fabrics Corp. for refusing to hire her over medical cannabis use.

Vermont Agency of Administration held a hearing on cannabis legalization, and hired RAND to “study” the issue for them.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe intends to pardon his son’s felony cannabis conviction.

South Carolina Senator Tom Davis intends to file a medical cannabis bill.

Michelle Larson heads the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis.

Show Me Cannabis filed a Missouri legalization initiative.

City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustment Board declared Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers’ Collective a public nuisance.

Chicago City Council Zoning Committee proposed 24-hour security guards at medical cannabis facilities.

Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission approved medical cannabis regulations.

Medical cannabis patient numbers fell by two-thirds in Montana in three years.

Scott Shirley faces aggravated DUI charges after an at-fault driver t-boned his car, killing his son, a month after Scott smoked pot.

Michigan Court of Appeals considers whether Grand Rapids voters have the right to decriminalize marijuana.

Florida Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins invalidated thirteen proposed medical cannabis rules.

Georgia Representative Allen Peake filed a bill to legalized low-THC medical cannabis oil.

Nevada plans to accept out-of-state medical cannabis cards. Cha-ching!

Legalize Maine announced an initiative to compete with Marijuana Policy Project’s plans.

New York City stopped arresting pot possessors.

Chicago City Council tabled a proposal to require 24-hour security guards at cannabis businesses.

Iowa Pharmacy Board delayed until January a decision on rescheduling marijuana.

Mike Gaston produced a viral video featuring pot-smoking grandmas.

Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council recommended cannabis accountants not be considered unethical nor targeted for audit.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Dana Rohrabacher sponsored legislation to allow VA doctors to recommend the medical use of cannabis.

Eric Sterling admitted that Maryland’s medical marijuana program won’t be operational for years.

Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a medical cannabis conviction because of a prosecutorial diatribe.

Georgia Sen. Curt Thompson pre-filed bills to legalize medical and recreational cannabis.

New Mexico Rep. Bill McCamley discussed potential legalization legislation.

New Approach Idaho promotes cannabis legalization.

Ethan Nadelmann complained about the stinginess of new pot industry entrepreneurs.

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection considers adding four qualifying conditions to the state’s medical marijuana law.

Virginia Sen. Adam Ebbin introduced legislation to decriminalize cannabis possession.

Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimated $48 million in annual revenues from legalized cannabis.

Minnesota Department of Health selected two companies to grow, process and sell medical cannabis in the state.

LeafLine Labs operates one of two Minnesota cannabis licenses.

Minnesota Medical Solutions operates one of two Minnesota cannabis licenses.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture seeks hemp growers.

Roger Christie left Hawai’i federal prison, finally.

Bill Downing operates an unlicensed, CBD-only dispensary in Boston.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sued Nestdrop over its marijuana delivery phone app.

Wyoming residents support medical cannabis 72-25%, poll says.

Idiot-targetted media outlets promote cannabis penny stock scams.

Arizona Supreme Court accepted for review a ruling that judges can’t deny probationers medical marijuana.

Rand Paul smoked pot in college, probably.

Tyga invested $5 million in gold rolling papers.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller certified a cannabis legalization initiative for the 2016 ballot.

Some parents overestimate the effects of marijuana on their epileptic children.

University of Alabama at Birmingham awaits response from the Food and Drug Administration for its CBD oil studies.

Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Jose Huizar proposed legislation to stop issuing tax certificates to unlicensed pot shops.

Federal regulators stockpile marijuana banking reports.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston dismissed a federal forfeiture action against a dispensary landlord who paid prosecutors $150,000.

Prohibitionists proposed a donor-shielding anti-marijuana nonprofit.

U.S. Justice Department announced it won’t stop Native Americans from growing and selling cannabis on their lands.

Mohegan Tribe considers cannabis business opportunities now that the feds are cool with it.

Month in review: international

Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia Town Council approved a zoning change to allow a medical cannabis facility.

Santé Cannabis opened in Montreal.

Brisbane Police Department informed the HEMP Embassy that its 10-meter joint is too large for the G20 protest.

Senate of Colombia moved a medical cannabis bill forward while sipping coca tea. Legislating is way chiller this way.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov reminded us that he’s a powerless nit.

Peter Sinkamba campaigns for the Zambian presidency on a cannabis legalization platform.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault plays a major role in marijuana’s genetic backup plan.

Frankfurt City Hall held a cannabis legalization forum.

Cabinet of Tasmania rejected a parliamentary call for cannabis decriminalization.

High Times cancelled the Cannabis Cup after arrest threats from Amsterdam officials.

Malta considers decriminalization of simple drug possession.

High Life Social Club opened a cannabis vape lounge in Halifax.

Uruguay plans to sell cannabis in pharmacies by March.

Tabare Vazquez won Uruguay’s presidential election, so the legal pot thing is safe.

Homegrown undercuts Mexican cannabis.

Mexican cartels smuggle high-quality U.S. cannabis into Mexico now, says DEA.

CultivaTV promotes legal cannabis in Chile.

Israeli companies breed specialized cannabis strains.

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Center for Legal Cannabis fertilizes and strengthens the ground under advocates, entrepreneurs, regulators, and media professionals. Sign up for weekly updates at or by emailing or by writing PO Box 95227, Seattle, WA 98145. Email us to unsubscribe, or reach Ben via telephone at 206-335-9214.