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Update: Liquor Control Board lifts restraining order | Main Street pot store operators pitted against each other
The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Monday lifted a restraining order on a Main Street retail pot store, making it the second to be licensed in Bellevue. The concern among both operators now is how the city's emergency ordinance, which bars the stores from coexisting, will be applied.
Green Theory on Main Street was first issued a retail license in Bellevue. Operator Mike Griffith said it would be several weeks yet before he can open, adding he is working with the city to ensure his business will be allowed to operate. It is less than 1,000 feet from Greenside, which the WSLCB approved for licensure Monday afternoon.
Under an amendment to the city's emergency ordinance, recreational marijuana retailers may not open within 1,000 feet of each other, and Greenside and Green Theory are located just across the street from each other.
"We just have to see if the city will issue us a permit," said David Ahl, Greenside operator. "We were finished first, but I don't know if that will be a deciding factor in that."
The restraining order lift makes Greenside the 25th retail store to be licensed to sell recreational marijuana by the Liquor Control Board, with more to follow. Bellevue is allowed four stores under WSLCB rules.
City spokeswoman Emily Christensen said Green Theory was issued license first, and was not affected by such a restraining order. According to a letter submitted by the city to the 19 original applicants, the first business to obtain licensure when retailers are within 1,000 feet of each other will be considered the "first-in-time" applicant. Since Green Theory was licensed first, Christensen said it will most likely be allowed to remain on Main Street. This does not preclude Greenside from seeking licensure at another location, she said.
Green Theory on Main Street has become the first recreational pot store in Bellevue to be licensed by the state Liquor Control Board, but operator Mike Griffith said Monday it will be a few more weeks before he's ready to open for business.
The state board issued 24 licenses on Monday, with more to follow. Bellevue is allowed four stores under the board's rules, but only Green Theory has been granted a license, so far.
Griffith said he is still working with the city of Bellevue to ensure his business stands up to the city's additional requirements under an emergency ordinance and is able to open without any issues lingering. That could take several more weeks, he said. While Green Theory is the first business to be licensed in Bellevue, Griffith said it's still unclear whether another pot shop's intent to open nearby on Main Street will further complicate his opening.
Under an amendment to the city's emergency ordinance, recreational marijuana retailers may not open within 1,000 feet of each other. Fellow retail lottery winner High Society proposes opening its store at 10600 Main St., which is less than 1,000 feet from Green Theory at 10697 Main St.
"We've gone around with them a lot," Griffith said about working with the city to ensure a smooth opening. "We're just being very cautious."