Liquor control board issues Kent lottery results for marijuana retail outlets

Kent's first recreational marijuana retail outlets could open someday at two locations along Central Avenue South and another site on South 228th Street.

Applicants at those three sites received the top three spots for potential Kent outlets after the state Liquor Control Board posted its statewide lottery results on Friday.

The trade names and locations of the three in order are:

• Giving Tree, 8504 S. 228th St.

• Phat Sacks Corp., 534 Central Ave. S.

• Soo P Hong, 604 Central Ave. S.

Just three retail stores are allowed in Kent under state law and nine applicants met preliminary rules out of an initial list of 18. Each of the top three applicants must pass the rest of the licensing process or the liquor board will withdraw the application and move to the next applicant on the list, according to a liquor board media release

The liquor board plans to issue the first licenses in July, when stores would be able to open.

In Kent, however, the City Council in April unanimously passed another six-month moratorium on any marijuana businesses. The city's ban applies to recreational marijuana businesses that voters approved statewide in 2012 when they passed Initiative 502 as well as medical marijuana collective gardens. The council opposes marijuana businesses because the drug remains illegal under federal law and it wants some control about where the businesses might locate if it decides to allow them.

City staff will present potential zoning code changes for marijuana businesses later this year to the city's Land Use and Planning Board, which then will make a recommendation to the council about where businesses might be allowed in the city. The land use board or council also could decide to ban the businesses.

If Kent applicants receive a recreational marijuana license from the liquor board, the city won't issue them any permits because of the ban, said Pat Fitzpatrick, acting city attorney. If the business opens anyway, he said the city will take action. The liquor board will issue licenses to applicants even if a city bans recreational marijuana businesses.

The liquor board's next steps for the top three applicants in Kent is to make sure they pass a criminal history and financial investigation as well as have a location that is not within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other area specified in I-502 as places where children congregate.

Licensing staff also continues to process producer and processor applications, which will provide the marijuana for the retail outlets. As of April 30, the liquor board had issued 25 producer and processor licenses.

The other six Kent applicants for retail outlets in order of their lottery ranking are:

• Odyssey Smoke Shop, 24816 Pacific Highway S.

• Heaven Bound 420 Cannabis Boutique, 1734 Central Ave. S.

• Hazy Days, 534 Central Ave. S.

• Herbal Choice Caregivers, 19011 68th Ave. S.

• Happy Highway, 534 Central Ave. S.

• Twisted Greens Corp., 534 Central Ave. S.

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