27 November 2016
My NorthWest.com reports
Backing away from a three-fold increase in pot store licensing fees, the Seattle City Council Monday unanimously approved a more modest $500 permit hike to sell legal marijuana in Seattle.
The increase – which raises the existing annual license fee to $1,500 from the current $1,000 – would apply to the existing 48 pot stores in Seattle. For out-of-town businesses selling supplies to city pot stores, the license fee will jump to $750.
Logan Bowers, owner of #hashtag pot store and president of the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments, said the 50 percent increase is tough but manageable.
“We’re pretty happy that the city listened to us when we pointed out that a 400-percent fee increase was too much,” Bowers said. “While we are thrilled to work with them on the issue, there still is a lot more that needs to be done.”
Councilmember Tim Burgess, who two weeks ago proposed raising the annual license fee to $3,450 – a 411-percent increase – said the council agreed to accept what Mayor Ed Murray had proposed months ago: a 50-percent hike.
Burgess said he proposed the larger fee to help offset the city’s cost of enforcing and regulating legal pot in Seattle. But, he said, the time wasn’t ripe to link license fees to the cost of regulating those businesses – yet.
“There was conversation about going higher,” Burgess said Monday of the agreement to set the fees at $1,500. “But we realized we faced a larger public policy question.”
Read full report at http://mynorthwest.com/469662/seattle-council-agrees-to-pot-fee-hike/