A sunny view of Seattle and Mt. Rainier.

Tiffany Von Arnim

Seattle Raises Dispensary Licensing Fees

Seattle’s City Council has approved a $500 increase in dispensary fees, raising them from $1,000 to $1,500 for the city’s existing 48 shops, according to a KIRO report. The hike is a compromise from the more than 400 percent increase proposed by local lawmakers two weeks ago. The increase also applies to out-of-town businesses selling supplies to Seattle dispensaries, who now must pay $750 for their license.

Logan Bowers, president of the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments and owner of #hashtag dispensary, said he was “pretty happy” that the city backed down from the proposed three-fold fee surge.

“While we are thrilled to work with them on the issue, there still is a lot more that needs to be done,” he said in the report. “It’s a reasonable compromise for now.”

The 400 percent increase was proposed by Councilmember Tim Burgess, who said the larger fee would help the city offset the costs of industry enforcement and regulations. Burgess indicated that linking the licensing fees to regulation costs is not off the table and the council could revisit the issue in the coming year, and that the council would likely confer with city accountants to determine if it would be better public policy.

“That’s a big question,” Burgess said, “whether or not the city should charge businesses the full cost of enforcement of business regulations.”

Seattle has raised about $2 million in revenue from the legal cannabis industry to date.

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