Everett to re-analyze increasing its limit of marijuana shops
EVERETT — The City Council will re-approach discussing whether to allow 10 marijuana retail shops within city limits.
But first it wants data.
The council last week received a partial picture on crime logs, but its members want information on gross sales, individual store violations and whether allowing more stores would cause sales cannibalization for Everett’s five existing stores.
Councilwoman Liz Vogeli requested opening up the city to 10 shops, laying a motion on the table at last week’s meeting wanting to put it to a vote. Vogeli was modest about this, noting this was the first time she’d ever asked council to put something to a vote since being elected in November.
Her fellow council members diverted the request to the council’s public safety subcommittee to give the 10-store idea further analysis. Council members Vogeli, Brenda Stonecipher and Judy Tuohy make up the subcommittee.
The council wasn’t specifically poised to discuss adding more stores until Vogeli’s motion, which didn’t advance to a vote.
The conversation on allowing more stores, though, has brewed since 2016, when the City Council set an arbitrary five-shop limit. The council re-affirmed the five-shop limit in a June 2018 split vote, going against a recommendation from the planning commission to allow 10.
The state Liquor and Cannabis Board determined Everett can have 10 store licensees at the time it doubled store counts statewide. The store counts were doubled to take up the slack when state law formally shut down medical
In discussing more shops for Everett, a key item a few council members said they want to ensure is medical marijuana access is readily available in-town.
Among Everett’s five shops, two carry a medical marijuana endorsement, according to the state Department of Health. The endorsement indicates a shop usually has a certified medical marijuana specialist on staff.
Crime calls among three of Everett’s five shops is fractional, with a few logging less than one police call per month — comparable to a bar. The crime rate for Everett’s newest licensee, Kushman’s, which opened on Evergreen Way in mid-June, wasn’t discussed.
The calls are largely over property theft, Police Chief Dan Templeman said.
The outlier is KushMart, which had an average of almost five police calls a month to its location near Pecks Drive and Evergreen Way.
KushMart also does a much larger amount of business than its in-city competitors and is among the busiest stores countywide, according to 502data.com. The store on Evergreen Way sold almost $650,000 worth of product in the month of May compared to its closest in-city competitor, Buds Garage in downtown, which logged $229,400 worth of retail sales in May.
Two other stores, High Society, on Broadway, and Purple Haze, on Rucker Avenue, didn’t crack $200,000 in May sales, according to the data website.
A fifth store, Mari J’s Highway Pot Shop, shuttered in April because its license was canceled in the wake of the store being involved in a business loan fraud scheme.
Kushman’s, a chain retailer, took up the fifth license slot available in Everett.
A smattering of six other stores within a mile outside city limits, largely along Highway 99, also generally do less business than KushMart, from 502data.com’s figures aggregated from state Liquor and Cannabis Board public records.
— Materials from Tribune archive reporting is included in this story.
Check out our online Publications!
Best seen in the Firefox or Chrome Browsers