Marijuana business looking at Covington

A prospective recreational marijuana business has expressed interested about opening a shop in Covington.

The owners of the trade name Crimson Wave have inquired with city staff about bringing a pot retail sales store to Covington. The location under consideration is in the strip mall south of Costco, according to Covington City Manager Derek Matheson.

Matheson said city staff is reviewing the official notice from the state Liquor Control Board and are working with the business owners on a business license and building permitting.

“We are still reviewing the matter, but it appears this location is consistent with our interim zoning ordinance,” he said.

The board expects to issue the state’s first 20 licenses July 7, with stores expecting to open the following day. The board capped the state’s recreational retail licenses at 334, despite more than 2,000 applications. Matheson said there are only 11 licenses available for unincorporated King County and every city with a population of fewer than 20,000.

Although edibles — e.g. marijuana-infused food — won’t be available right away at stores because a commercial kitchen is required, a food truck run by that claims to be “the worlds first marijuana-infused food truck” debuted June 28-29 at the MMJ Universe Farmer’s Market, located south of Black Diamond.

The Covington City Council has adopted interim zoning regulations for recreational marijuana production, processing and retailing within city limits. Any business that receives a state license must meet the city’s current interim zoning requirements. Generally, recreational marijuana production and processing businesses may only locate in the city’s Industrial zone, while retail uses may be in mixed commercial and general commercial. The proposed location is zoned general commercial.

Besides being in a proper location, a review must also be completed by the board. Matheson said a business license review and the permitting process helps verify that the proposed space meets city code. Multiple attempts made to contact the listed owners of Crimson Wave were unanswered.

“I’d say the business is well on its way to locating here,” Matheson said.

Richard Hart, Covington’s Community Development Director, said the Community Development Department has not received any applications to open a recreational marijuana business and that one of the owners stopped by the permit counter for the first time on June 25.

“It’s just been discussions,” Hart said. “There’s nothing to report other than he stopped by and asked about what process he needs to go through.”

Hart said that the initial indication is that the location would pass the zoning standards, but that a specific analysis of Geographic Information Systems would take place after official application.

Hart said the city will provide the owners with verification permits if and when the business makes it through the state’s process.

“We hear a lot and people say a lot, but we don’t have any actual information that (the owner) has been given a license from the state,” Hart said. “Until that’s done, I think it’s all still a little bit speculative about who does or doesn’t have a license.”

A different prospective business, named Covington Marijuana Retail Store, was listed with a Covington address and ranks 25th in line for one of the at-large licenses. However, the Covington address was the applicant’s address, according to Matheson, not the proposed business site.

Hart said a recreational marijuana business would have no impact on Covington Holistic Medicine, a medical marijuana business that opened in 2011.


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