Washington Representative Christopher Hurst leads the committee that oversee cannabis in the state. The democrat is now speaking out about some changes that he believes are necessary in order to have the legalized marijuana program be as successful as possible in the state.
Hurst’s bill focuses primarily on finances. He has argued that Washington will be leaving “money on the table” unless it increases the fees required to receive a license to grow, distribute, or sell marijuana.
The bill would create a new certificate to be issue by the Liquor Control Board before those licenses are issued. Currently, I-502 charges those interested in growing, distributing, or selling marijuana a one time $250 application fee and a $1,000 annual renewal fee. The certificate would allow the Liquor Control Board to set the fees themselves.
Hurst feels as though the current figures are far too low. Not only would they keep Washington from reaping more potential revenue, they would also allow for almost anyone to vie for a spot in the system, which could lead to over-saturation.
Additionally, the bill would allow marijuana businesses to be closer to parks and schools than initially intended. The law says that marijuana businesses must be 1,000 feet from day cares, schools, and parks, but Hurst wants to lower that restriction to only 500 feet.