Marijuana dispensaries worry about closure despite raise in retail store cap

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THERE’S ONLY SEVEN MONTHS LEFT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSERIES TO GET A RETAIL LICENSE OR SHUT DOWN OPERATION. WHILE THE LIQUOR AND CANNABIS BOARD JUST UPPED THE NUMBER OF STORES ALLOWED IN THE STATE, SOME OWNERS SAY IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO SAVE THEIR BUSINESS. KXLY’S ALLIE NORTON WORKING FOR YOU TONIGHT. SHE JOINS US LIVE IN THE STUDIO. AND ALLIE, THAT’S BECAUSE OF THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS THEY’VE RECEIVED? AARON, AS OF DECEMBER THERE WERE ALREADY MORE THAN A THOUSAND. SO FOR SOMEONE LIKE JASON DIXON WHO SAYS HE’S AT THE END OF THAT LIST, IT LEAVES FEW OPTIONS. HERB NERDS IN SPOKANE VALLEY IS NOT EVEN TWO YEARS OLD. AND OWNER JASON DIXON SAYS IF STATE LAW FOLLOWS THROUGH, HIS OPERATION WILL ONLY MAKE IT TO THREE. SOT/ JASON DIXON- HERB NERDS @:00-:06 There is no merger at all. It’s more of a forced closure, a forced sell out. LAST YEAR, GOVERNOR INSLEE SIGNED LEGISLATION TO ALIGN MEDICAL MARIJUANA WITH THE TIGHTLY REGULATED RECREATIONAL INDUSTRY. MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS OWNERS WILL NEED A LICENSE TO STAY OPEN PAST JULY FIRST. IF THEY DON’T, THEY’LL EITHER HAVE TO CEASE OPERATION OR SELL IT TO SOMEONE WITH THE LICENSE. SOT/ JASON DIXON- HERB NERDS @:08-:23 Right now my best possible scenario is to give away 95 percent of my business. DIXON APPLIED FOR THE LICENSE, BUT HE’S FAR DOWN ON THE LIST. THAT’S BECAUSE HIS STORE IS ONLY TWO YEARS OLD AND HE DIDN’T APPLY FOR A LICENSE UNTIL JUST RECENTLY. HE’S NOT A PRIORITY. OTHERS, LIKE PACIFIC NORTHWEST MEDICAL IN NORTH SPOKANE, ARE IN THE SAME BOAT. SOT/ BEN CARDEN- Pacific NW Medical @:00-:04 Pretty much as of July 1, we will close down. BEN CARDEN SAYS IT’S REALLY A LOSS FOR THE PATIENTS. SOT/ BEN CARDEN- Pacific NW Medical @:38-:48 They don’t know what to do. They’re upset about it because they really rely on all this medicine for whatever needs they have. LAST WEDNESDAY, THE LIQUOR AND CANNABIS BOARD INCREASED THE CURRENT CAP OF 334 STORES TO 556 TO ACCOMMODATE THE MERGER OF THE TWO MARKETS. BUT WITH OVER A THOUSAND RETAIL LICENSE APPLICANTS, DIXON SAYS IT’S STILL NOT ENOUGH. SOT/ JASON DIXON- HERB NERDS @:01-:11 I want a real merger. I want a retail recreational license for both my shops and I can’t stop stop speaking up until it happens PRIORITY APPLICANTS ARE THOSE PAY TAXES AND HAVE BEEN PART OF A COLLECTIVE GARDEN FOR TWO YEARS. ON TOP OF THAT, THEY HAD TO HAVE ALREADY APPLIED FOR LICENSES WHEN THE RECREATIONAL MARKET FIRST OPENED UP. RIGHT NOW THERE’S ONLY ABOUT 40 APPLICANTS OUT OF THE THOUSAND MAKING THE FIRST PRIORITY. YOU SHOULD NOTE THOUGH THAT RECREATIONAL STORES WILL BE ABLE TO SELL MEDICINAL MARIJUANA WITH AN ENDORSEMENT FROM THE STATE. IN THE STUDIO TONIGHT, I’M ALLIE NORTON KXLY 4 NEWS.

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