Cannabis Uncapped: No More Caps on Washington Rec Stores

By Emily Manke |

When I-502 rolled out, one of the many criticisms was the conservative cap on recreational cannabis stores. First there was the lottery with only a few lucky applicants’ allotted licenses at a time. In the opening months of Cannabis City in Seattle, it was the only recreational cannabis store in the city. As such, they were constantly running out of cannabis, and prices basically had to be unreasonably high. Though more stores did eventually open, and prices eventually dropped, the whole process seemed overly complicated and restrictive. But no more!

Just in time for the state-required transition of medical access points to recreational stores, the cap on applications has been lifted. Cities in Washington may apply for as many new recreational cannabis store licenses as they please. Of course, cities are allowed to impose restrictions if they choose. But no more of the holdup at the state level, at least for now.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) spokesman Mikhail Carpenter gave a statement to KUOW about the new regulations.

“While there is presently no cap, we have also been very upfront about the fact that we may shut it off,” Carpenter said.

“An upcoming report from the RAND Corporation . . . will estimate how much marijuana Washington residents are consuming,” KUOW says. “Those numbers will help guide his agency’s decision on how many licenses to grant.”

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