State gets 23 new marijuana applications from Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDDecember 3, 2013 

Three more applications for marijuana retailers in Whatcom County were filed in the last week, including one in Point Roberts and another along Guide Meridian north of Bellingham.

The state Liquor Control Board also received another 10 new applications for growing operations and 10 for processing. Some previous applicants also changed the name or location of their proposed facility.

Each Tuesday the state agency releases an updated list of applicants. Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith said he expected the agency will publish a final list sometime early next year.

The application is the first step. The Control Board will process the applications, checking residency status of the applicants, running criminal background checks and verifying financial information.

Investigators also are checking the locations of the proposed businesses, ensuring they are not within 1,000 feet of schools or other specified gathering places.

Businesses can hold licenses to both grow and process marijuana, but not to sell. Retailers can't be involved in the other two segments.

"We estimate that we will be issuing licenses in February or March," Smith said, adding that would put the opening of retail stores in "late May or June."

In September, the board ruled that 15 stores in Whatcom County would be allowed to sell marijuana for recreational use beginning next year: six in Bellingham and one each in Lynden and Ferndale, with up to seven others throughout other parts of Whatcom County.

Retail stores were allocated by 2010 population data.

MAP OF COUNTY LOCATIONS

—Dark green means the application was processed in the past week.

—Light green means the application came in before that.

—Data comes from the state Liquor Control Board. This map gets updated each Tuesday.

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