Liquor Control Board will allow one marijuana shop in Bonney Lake

The city of Bonney Lake will be allowed one marijuana retailer, according to a list accompanying revised proposed rules submitted Wednesday by the Liquor Control Board.

With the submission, the rules concerning the white market for marijuana sales are one pass away from their scheduled adoption Oct. 16. A public hearing will be held Oct. 9 at an as-yet unannounced time and location.

Voter Initiative 502, passed during the 2012 general election, laid out the basic three-tier commercial market for recreational cannabis. For the past year, a task force of the state Liquor Control Board began formulating rules to regulate the market and answer the questions raised by the law, such as: Which licensees are responsible for transporting product? How will the distance from schools and other prohibited areas be measured? And how can an applicant’s criminal history be objectively measured when considering a license application?

Along with the proposed rules, the task force released a list of municipalities, by county, and how many retail stores each city would be allowed to have based on census and consumption data. Bonney Lake will be allowed one retailer, but unincorporated Pierce County will be allowed 17 retailers. Tacoma, at fewer than 200,000 people, will be allowed 8; Seattle, which contains more than three times the population of Tacoma, will only be allowed 21 retailers.

The city of Sumner was allocated no stores. Last November after I-502’s passage the city council passed an ordinance banning producers, processors and retailers of marijuana from doing business within city limits, citing the continued federal ban on cannabis.The proposed rules can be read on the Liquor Control Board’s website, along with a list of changes to the rules since the last draft was submitted July 3.

The rules are scheduled to become effective Nov. 16. Producer, processor and retailer license applications will be accepted beginning Nov. 18 for issuance beginning Dec. 1.