Photo by Ben Livingston

Legal Cannabis Week #66

Report: Majority of Seattle pot shop applicants fail buffer tests

State regulators have allocated 21 legal pot shops to Seattle, and hundreds of applicants hope to win a lottery for those lucrative licenses. But the majority of them will be disqualified, says map maker Ben Livingston.

“People who thought they bought a ticket in the Seattle cannabis lottery may be surprised, because over half of them won’t qualify for the drawing,” says Livingston, who is Director of the Center for Legal Cannabis, a cannabis project incubator.

This week, Center for Legal Cannabis launched its first spin-off company, called Canna Zoning. The startup creates zoning maps for the cannabis industry, offers individual property investigations, and provides I-502 business and land use consulting.

Canna Zoning released a white paper titled “Pot Lottery Numbers,” which calculates that 52% of all Seattle pot shop applicants are in locations that are within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries and other forbidden features. With 413 applications vying for 21 retail cannabis stores in Seattle, the probability of procuring a license is around 5%. But Livingston’s analysis puts that number closer to 12% for qualified applicants.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has given hopeful cannabis retailers 30 days to submit final paperwork to the agency in preparation for the lottery. “At such a critical stage in this new industry, this report clearly shows how important in-depth zoning research is for the cannabis industry,” Livingston says. “Most of these people are throwing away their money.

“Pot Lottery Numbers: Retail Cannabis Licensing Odds in Seattle and Washington State” may be purchased for $89 at

Washington state issues first legal pot production licenses

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board began issuing legal cannabis production licenses last week. Here’s the headlines:

Washington issues first legal pot business license
MAR 5 | Associated Press

State to Award First Pot License Tomorrow Amid Tension, Prediction of Disaster
MAR 4 | Seattle Weekly

Spokane entrepreneur now state’s first legal pot grower
MAR 5 | Seattle Times

Legislative weed watch

Legislative hotline is 800-LOAN-000, as in “toll free, loan nothing.” According to the cutoff calendar, March 13 is the last day of the regular legislative session. The legislative view is about the same as last week. These bills are in play:

  • HB 1597 – Goodman – Making marijuana law technical corrections.
  • HB 1888 – Shea – Regarding industrial hemp.
  • HB 2149 – Cody – Concerning medical marijuana.
  • HB 2198 – Carlyle – Providing tax relief to qualifying patients for purchases of marijuana for medical use.
  • HB 2405 – Buys – Regarding hemp as a component of commercial animal feed.
  • HB 2706 – WSLCB – Ensuring safe, responsible, and legal acquisition of marijuana by adults.
  • SB 5887 – Rivers – Merging the medical marijuana system with the recreational marijuana system.
  • SB 6505 – Hargrove – Deny standard tax breaks to cannabis businesses.
  • SB 6542 – Kohl-Welles – Establishing the state cannabis industry coordinating committee.

The supplemental operating budget now includes $2.2 million for DOH to implement SB 5887 (page 130, section 219, search for 5887)—like this medical cannabis snuffer is ordained from on high:

  • SB 6002 – Governor Inslee – Paying $2.2 million for DOH to implement SB 5887.

These bills now appear dead, unless they are revived as “necessary to implement budget”: HB 1084, HB 1482, HB 1661, HB 1662, HB 1789, HB 1976, HB 1991, HB 1992, HB 2000, HB 2028, HB 2030, HB 2206, HB 2303, HB 2233, HB 2304, HB 2394, HB 2409, HB 2322, HB 2411, HB 2509, HB 2510, HB 2511, HB 2566, HB 2638, HB 2732, HB 2767, HB 2772, SB 5010, SB 5222, SB 5279, SB 5528, SB 5954, SB 5966, SB 6130, SB 6158, SB 6160, SB 6178, SB 6214, SB 6393, SB 6481, SB 6543, SJM 8000.

Cannabis calendar
Week in review

King County Council plans a zoning change to allow pot production at the former K2 factory on Vashon Island.

Governor Scott Walker opposes legal cannabis in Wisconsin.

League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association dropped their unconditional opposition to legal marijuana.

Marijuana moms forward the cannabis issue quite effectively.

Mayor Amy Walen encouraged feedback on the Kirkland’s marijuana zoning.

Vancouver City Council enacted cannabis zoning.

Ferndale City Council enacted an I-502 moratorium

New research suggests old research doesn’t suggest much about pot’s efficacy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Robert Duncan reports for a two-year medical marijuana prison stint.

Cannabis research lags in a prohibition era.

American Epilepsy Society called for more cannabis rescheduling and more research.

Jason Draizin placed marijuana doctor television ads in New Jersey.

Washington patients fear drastic restrictions to their medical marijuana law.

Robert Corry rescinded a letter claiming Denver 4/20 rally organizers would sanction public pot use.

Washington State Senate passed a bill to create a medical cannabis coordinating committee.

Canadian attorneys argued that the federal medical marijuana program was compromised by rapid growth.

Kitsap County entrepreneurs encounter obstacles in their legal pot plans.

Georgia House passed a low-THC medical cannabis bill.

Utah House of Representatives passed a low-THC medical cannabis bill.

Camas City Council seeks input on cannabis zoning.

The Olympian supports bills to gut our medical cannabis law.

Washington State Senate Health Care Committee passed a medical marijuana bill after canceling its public hearing amid controversy.

Washington State Senate voted to deny standard agricultural tax breaks to cannabis businesses.

Kevin Oliver downplayed concern over legislative proposals to revoke courtroom legal defenses from patients.

United Nations International Narcotics Control Board complained about legal cannabis in Colorado and Washington.

District of Columbia City Council voted to decriminalize cannabis possession.

Drug Enforcement Administration encouraged Congress to not abandon the war on pot.

Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics hosts a series of pot business classes.

Alaska entrepreneurs prepare for legal pot.

Some nuptials include cannabis now.

Amy Dannemiller resigned from her job after vaping on national television.

Island County Commission considers cannabis zoning.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar introduced a bill to ban cannabis purchases with food stamps.

Gallatin County Attorney’s Office charged a Bozeman, Montana couple with allowing a toddler to smoke marijuana.

Roger Roffman studies marijuana abuse.

Florida House Criminal Justice Committee forwarded a low-THC medical cannabis bill.

Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board estimated the cost of legalized marijuana.

Covington City Council extended an I-502 moratorium.

Vashon Island entrepreneurs await marijuana licenses.

Legal cannabis retailers opened in Aspen, Colorado.

Tennessee parents testified in favor of medical cannabis for epileptic children.

Sanjay Gupta reiterated his support for medical cannabis.

Daily Beast gathered responses to the International Narcotics Control Board’s anti-legalization tantrum.

Victor Crist wondered what Tampa International Airport would do if Florida legalized medical marijuana and someone brought pot to the airport.

CNN overviewed the ongoing pot politics fight.

Gregory Stewart expects a pot production license in Bremerton.

Las Vegas City Council considers extending a medical marijuana moratorium.

OpenVape sponsored a cannabis job fair in Denver.

Street dealers thrive in Maastricht as the Netherlands restricts cannabis tourism.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis introduced a federal stoned driving bill.

Italy declined to challenge a regional medical cannabis law.

Michelle Sexton partnered with a penny stock company to start a cannabis testing lab.

James Ducek obtained a pot production license in Pacific, a city with a marijuana moratorium.

Colorado Department of Transportation released a stoned driving public service announcement.

Russ Belville blamed medical cannabis advocates for Washington State’s medical cannabis conundrum.

Michael Gordon plans Seattle cannabis tours.

Washington State Senate passed a medical cannabis bill.

Florida Republicans support medical cannabis, polls show.

California Democratic Party supports cannabis legalization.

Some Conservative Political Action Conference attendees support legal pot, according to a tiny, informal HuffPost poll.Hugo Corral refuses service to weed-reeking, haircut-seeking potential customers.

Medibles vary wildly in potency, a Denver Post investigation reveals.

Eduardo Beaumont works at a Queen Anne neighborhood dispensary.

Mark Kleiman opined on our legal pot paths.

Drug educators worry that teens have increasing positive views of marijuana.

Colorado earned $2 million in pot taxes in January.

Worth repeating

“Our two organizations independently came to realize that although we remain strongly opposed to marijuana use, it is increasingly likely that in the near future some statewide regulatory structure for medical marijuana could be enacted.”

League of California Cities Director Chris McKenzie and California Police Chief’s Association President Kim Raney on joining the discussion about how to regulate cannabis

“I believe we have a responsibility to develop an ordinance to implement the voters’ initiative.”

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt on legal cannabis zoning

“The state has changed the playing field again. We can’t confidently say to the council we know what’s going on at the state level.”

Ferndale City Clerk Sam Taylor on the liquor board allowing pot business applicants thirty days to get their leases in order

“I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana. I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on medical cannabis


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.