No One Wins.

Council

Yesterday morning I participated in the meeting of the King County Transportation, Economic and Environment Committee (TrEE).  They considered two actions that would influence the development of legal marijuana on Vashon Island.  If this is all unfamiliar to you, you can get caught up here.

Issue #1 - Amending the Town Plan to Allow Legal Marijuana Businesses

The change to the town plan was successfully passed from the TrEE Committee and sent to the full KCC with a recommendation of passing.  That is good.  However, the specific zoning change that was passed was to allow “marijuana producing (growing)” and “marijuana processing 1” in CB zoned properties.  The former K2 property is presently zoned as CB. “Processor 1” excludes what EdiPure does as a business which is “Processor 2.”  Processing 1 is just trimming and drying the flowers but does not allow the infusion of food products.  If you manipulate or change the marijuana other than trimming or drying, that is Processor 2.  

So that leaves nobody winning.  The folks in favor of EdiPure moving in were not satisfied and neither were those seeking to block marijuana on Vashon.  When the ordinance gets passed by the full King County Council, and it most certainly will, marijuana will be able to be grown in CB areas on the island but the door to EdiPure is still closed.

The date for the full King County Council meeting is as of yet unannounced but it will be at least 45 days away.

In that same discussion, an amendment was passed that blessed our friends over at Seattle Distilling who also had a falling out with the Town Plan recently.  Good for them!

There were no environmental amendments to the proposal even mentioned by the Committee.  

Issue #2 - Amending the Conditional Use Permit.

canopy

The bigger issue is the Conditional Use Permit.  I was very grateful that CM McDermott brought forth the amendment that I suggested in my testimony, though it is likely he and his team came up with it on their own.  After it was made clear to me that there was no chance at all of removing the CUP entirely county-wide, we proposed raising the canopy ceiling before a CUP to at least 10,000sqft for RA and Industrial zones.  This novel approach treats marijuana like any other legal farm crop and CM McDermott’s wording was elegant.  This amendment was beaten by a 3-2 vote.  McDermott and Upthegrove were in favor with Dembowski, Lambert and Hague voting against.  From their comments explaining their positions, I can tell that none of the three council members who voted against it really have a grasp of the particulars.  They all wanted to wait it out for a year and see, missing the point that there will likely not be any legal growers at all on Vashon if the canopy is left at 2,000sqft.  Our island’s marijuana production will remain in the black market or in the medical market.  Instead of being focused on going slow to be cautious, we should be moving swiftly to remove marijuana from the black market and get it all regulated as quickly as possible. The decision of the TrEE Committee absolutely sustains the black market on our island.  Inclusion is how you regulate, not by extending the prohibition era mindset of exclusion and enforcement because we already know that does not work.  Also, it means that King County will lag behind in this market as other counties with no CUP develop this new industry themselves.  For example, many marijuana businesses are streaming to Mason County now because they have no CUP and a very helpful bureaucracy that want the investment.

As I mentioned last week, “If you don’t know much about marijuana, it is very hard to relate this for you but consider that the top license available in Washington is for 30,000 sqft and this is only 2,000sqft.  That is tiny, tiny.  With the ceiling at 2,000 sqft, anyone wishing to grow more than that will be required to have a CUP and incur the costs above and also a delay in starting business which means they will miss this summer’s outdoor growing season, either moving them indoors to use lights or having to wait all the way until next summer to grow.  That does not make for good business.  The WSLCB did not call for this added measure after we all passed I-502. This is an extra zoning layer that King County has added that does not occur elsewhere in the state.”

So the King County Council talks of supporting business and ending the black market but obviously has not the vision to actually do so.

Concerned Mothers

This brings me to the short sightedness of the three speakers self-identifying as Vashon concerned mothers on the microphone.    

Victoria Beckham hyperbole to make a point.  Your mileage may vary.

Victoria Beckham hyperbole to make a point.  Your mileage may vary.

What I wish the concerned mothers and “not in my backyard” folks would understand is that having legal marijuana growing at K2 is a big win for them and our shared goal of preserving a safe family environment on Vashon. First and clearly significant would be giving legal growing jobs to 30 Vashon growers who are likely growing for the black market right now.  Not all, but surely most.  I know this because I am recommending them for the jobs at EdiPure.  Putting these horticulturists to work legally would remove so much black market marijuana from the island.  The flowers they would be producing at EdiPure are hyper-regulated and would be far, far less likely to find their way into the hands of Vashon youth.  Also, if the concern is really about “the children,” how about the kids of parents who are underemployed because there are so few good paying opportunities on the island.  EdiPure’s plans include about 100 full time jobs over the first year and that is a lot of income and health insurance for families that is just getting thrown away.  It felt very much like the concern being expressed by the speakers was much more for the kids of wealthy families rather than viewing this situation in the context of our island's massive underemployment and poverty.   

Next Steps

Bakkhos is reviewing their options for K2 at the moment and those options are quickly dwindling.  There are a couple moves that they can make but none of them look especially promising.  Bakkhos are also being constantly bombarded with easy properties offered to them in other counties that are begging them to come because they know the value of that community investment and jobs.

Unfortunately, it looks like King County Council and the DPER themselves are the roadblock to our island’s success in legal marijuana business far more than any local agitators or concerned mothers.  They just make all of this immensely less pleasant.  For the moment, marijuana entrepreneurs are going back to their business plans to figure out if there is any way to salvage legal marijuana on Vashon this first growing season.

Posted on April 2, 2014 .

Vashon Town Plan & CUP Research Summary

Hello Vashon & Maury Island neighbors,

I have created a summary of the most up to date information and links that I have gathered concerning the recent two hot issues regarding legal marijuana business regulation on Vashon Island.  I figured that if I was going to do all of this research for myself anyway, that I might as well share it and save you some work.

IconforSummary_vimea

Special thanks to staff at Councilman McDermott’s office, County Executive Dow Constantine’s office and Councilman Rod Dembowski himself who all connected with me today to make sure we on Vashon had the most fresh and relevant information possible.  Their combined efforts has brought all of this into sharp focus for me and I hope I can pass on some of that understanding.  Any errors are mine and not from the helpful legislative folk.

There are two issues that are especially key today because they will be addressed in some way on this coming Tuesday, April 1st at a meeting of the King County Transportation, Economic and Environment Committee (TrEE).  That meeting will be at 9:30am at King County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Here is a link to the TrEE Committee page:
http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/committees/transportation_economy_environment.aspx

Topic Area #1 - Amending the Vashon Comprehensive Plan

TableFolks

One thing to note right now on the TrEE Committee page above is that there is no agenda listed for April 1st.  That is what has folks annoyed and suspicious here on Vashon and what caused the call rally at K2 yesterday.  Folks who want jobs at EdiPure, and Bakkhos themselves all want to see that our Comprehensive Plan gets considered and moving forward at that April 1st committee meeting.  All of the legislators I spoke to confirmed that it was on the agenda for Tuesday.  They were all actually kind of indignant about it.  Not to call them out as rude but more to point out that they all considered it a foregone conclusion that it would be taken up Tuesday.  The rub was that because the agenda is not yet posted online, none of us on Vashon can know for sure and it is just the legislators who know the agenda.  Usually agendas are up a week in advance but not so this week. 

So, ok, the Comprehensive Plan is on the agenda for Tuesday and that is a win, also though, the TrEE Committee could be communicating a bit better via their website and this miscommunication wouldn’t be happening at all.  

Here is a link to the actual ordinance to be considered by King County Council on Tuesday.  Special note that if you look in the “attached documents,” that is where the Transmittal is that folks have been asking for.  That is the doc that the County Executive sent to the King County Council that starts the process of the Comprehensive Plan change.
http://mkcclegisearch.kingcounty.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1679404&GUID=61387534-6B47-4553-A09D-8203997C67C5&Options=ID|Text|&Search=2014-0104

HonkNow.jpg

You will see there under “Indexes” it says “Comprehensive Plan.”  That is Vashon’s Comprehensive Plan and a part of that is Vashon’s Town Plan.  That is what we want to have amended to come in line with the rest of the county and allow marijuana business to be conducted at the former K2 facility.  The parcel was switched over to the very restrictive “Community Business Zone” several years ago.  A few folks have tried to develop the former K2 property with the limited businesses allowed in a CB zone but no one has been able to really make it work.  A company called Bakkhos Holding is prepared to buy the former K2 building and put it to work growing marijuana and infusing 75+ different food types as EdiPure for folks who’d rather not or cannot smoke marijuana.

The actual direction given to the TrEE Committee by the County Executive is actually pretty awesome to read. It is so dry and clear without hype. You can read it all yourself in Attachment 6 of the ordinance above but I have copied it here for your convenience and because it is well worth reading:

“Vashon Island Amendments
This proposed ordinance will fully implement the provisions of Ordinance 17710, which amended KCC Title 21A to allow recreational marijuana uses in various zoning districts throughout the County. It will complete the County's zoning framework for recreational marijuana uses allowed under Initiative 502.

Ordinance 17710 provides for recreational marijuana uses in Community Business (CB) and Industrial (I) zoning districts. The current zoning on Vashon Island restricts the allowed uses on CB and I zoned properties within the town center. This ordinance will add recreational marijuana uses to the list of allowed uses in the CB and I zones.

This ordinance amends property-specific zoning conditions VS-P29 (restricting uses in CB zones) and VS-P30 (restricting uses in I zones). It adds recreational marijuana producer, processor and retailer uses to the list of allowed uses in the CB zone, and adds recreational marijuana producer and processor uses to the list of allowed uses in the I zone.

A public meeting on Vashon Island was held on February 19, 2014, to gather comments on these proposed amendments. The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) received over 150 comments; a variety of perspectives were represented and an additional approximately 75 names were added to the "parties of record" list. A summary of DPER's public involvement process is included as part of this transmittal.”

So, on Tuesday April 1st, the TrEE Committee will consider this legislation and discuss what to do about it.  The general feeling I get from them is that the council members want to bring Vashon in line with the rest of the county and that this is going to happen. 

Dan Anglin from EdiPure has told me that they can only hang out and wait for a location in King County for so long and I get that from a business standpoint.  If the TrEE Committee doesn’t take up the change to the Comprehensive Plan on April 1st and get the ball rolling, EdiPure will certainly go elsewhere.  That is why many Vashon residents including myself have been pushing to get confirmation from the county that our Comprehensive Plan was going to come up for consideration on Tuesday.  We want those jobs and investment and the TrEE website isn’t telling us we are going to be heard on Tuesday.  That is why Vashon residents have been in heavy contact with the council members over the last 48 hours, because we don’t like being left in the dark so much.  That said, I appreciate how challenging website updates can often be to get out on time.  To reiterate, no one I talked to at King County doubted for a second that the TrEE Committee would pick it up on Tuesday, they just hadn’t let Vashon residents or EdiPure know.  Again, a simple miscommunication that caused a lot of good people to get all out of whack.

Ok, so on Tuesday the TrEE Committee will discuss the Vashon Comprehensive Plan amendment.  Good.  But what will happen?  After talking to the King County folk, I understand that this kind of a thing may well take a couple of meetings and that is pretty common.  It has also been suggested to me that it could be voted on immediately on Tuesday but that is ridiculously unlikely considering “the complexity and importance of the issues.”  Suffice it to say that there is still politics and considerations going on.

Let’s just assume for moment that the TrEE Committee does pick it up as planned on Tuesday, April 1st because that seems likely.  Based on the past, the committee will take at least one more meeting to pass something.  That seems reasonable and expected and EdiPure says that works, barely, with their time frame too.  Everybody wins.

All of this effort would just allow marijuana business generally to be done at the former K2 building.  EdiPure still needs to get their permit from the WSLCB.  That seems pretty likely though even though there has been some common bureaucratic miscommunication between EdiPure and WSLCB but that was sorted out awhile back.  All that looks good to go.

That is issue #1 and is entirely about the Vashon Town Plan as part of the Vashon Comprehensive Plan and allowing marijuana business at K2.  Still with me?  Below is the second aspect that is important because it will also be addressed in some way on this coming Tuesday, April 1st at the meeting of the King County Transportation, Economic and Environment Committee (TrEE).

Topic Area #2 - The CUP Requirement Ceiling

A CUP is a Conditional Use Permit.  Usually used when a new church or big box store goes in to assess increased traffic, the CUP really is kind of broad and in King County is described as “A conditional use permit (CUP) allows the county to consider uses that may be desirable to a particular community, but which are not routinely allowed, through a public hearing process, and to control certain uses which could have detrimental effects on a community or neighboring properties. A 'conditionally permitted use' on a specific property is subject to conditions that ensure compatibility with nearby land uses.”  That doesn’t really tell us anything, unfortunately.

Learn more here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/permits/info/PermitTypes/landuse/CUP.aspx

Here is the deal though.  None of the marijuana businesses on Vashon Island want there to be a CUP at all for obvious reasons.  They cost thousands of dollars to just apply for.  They take thousands of dollars more in engineers and architects to prove what you are doing is feasible.  There is a wait period that can extend up to 6 months and possibly longer if anyone appeals.  Finally, and to many the worst part, there would be one of those big ugly white “Proposed Land Use” signs in the neighborhood.  No one likes those.  So there are lots of reasons to think the CUP is a poor way to go but that is where we are at for the moment.  Now, what to do with it since it already exists.

Right now, the county has dropped the ceiling of when the CUP is necessary to just a 2,000 square foot canopy of marijuana plants.  If you don’t know much about marijuana, it is very hard to relate this for you but consider that the top license available is for 30,000 sqft and this is only 2,000sqft.  That is tiny, tiny.  With the ceiling at 2,000 sqft, anyone wishing to grow more than that will be required to have a CUP and incur the costs above and also a delay in starting business which means they will miss this summer’s outdoor growing season, either moving them indoors to use lights or having to wait all the way until next summer to grow.  That does not make for good business.  The WSLCB did not call for this added measure after we all passed I-502. This is an extra zoning layer that King County has added that does not occur elsewhere in the state.

Waving

I spoke with Councilman McDermott about a cut-out avoiding the CUP for just Vashon Island since we have a very different agricultural culture than the rest of King County. For all the good it would do, Councilman McDermott is quite sure it is not a political possibility in the King County Council and it is also his own goal to keep the regulations as consistent as possible between unincorporated King County and everyone else.  While I wish he would think otherwise, I certainly have to respect his vast experience compared to mine and move on.

The first fall back position is to remove the CUP from all of King County and not just Vashon Island.  Again, Vashon business folks would love this because the CUP is a huge hassle and expensive and removes them from this summer’s sunshine grow season.  This is also a non-starter it seems.  Removing the entire CUP requirement may be a good idea but it is a huge leap for the council members to take from where they are now.  I don’t know what it would take for it to actually happen, if it could happen at all.  As founder of VIMEA though, I represent folks who want to get to growing legal marijuana and that is what my people are looking for.  King County is a morass of marijuana regulation and we’d really like the council to stop adding unnecessary impediments to business and calling them cautionary measures.  Their cautionary measures will cause us to be far less competitive with Eastern Washington by delaying our start.

So what is left to do with the CUP?  The suggestion I am hearing from staffers is that there might be some play to move the CUP ceiling from 2,000sqft to 10,000 sqft.  While that is not moving it all the way to 30,000 sqft, it certainly is a lot more than 2,000 sqft.  And here is why this is so important.  You really need the first 3,000 or so square feet just to hope to break even as a business.  At 2,000sqft, no one can make any money the first year and they will also have to pay for the CUP and that makes opening a business nearly impossible.  At 10,000 sqft, some economies of scale start to kick in and there is some profit margin, maybe, depending on where marijuana prices go and that your crop doesn’t just fail.  If everything goes perfectly, you can make some money at 10,000sqft, but not much under the present regulations.  Most folks want to operate in the 20,000 to 30,000 sqft range to make the whole enterprise even worth it.

Because it would be such a long stretch for the council members from where they are now, it is unlikely that we can get the entirety of the CUP removed from the entire county though we wish we could.  Maybe we can. What does seem possible is to get the ceiling raised from 2,000sqft to 10,000sqft and allow these mom & pop marijuana businesses on Vashon to make a little money first season hopefully. 

I’ll say this below again but here it is for a first time now.  If you want the entire CUP removed for the whole County on Tuesday, tell your representative that.  If you are OK with the 10,000sqft compromise, then tell your representative to make sure that happens on Tuesday.  I am here to provide you with the info to decide for yourself as neighbors.  As founder of VIMEA, I would like all of the CUP removed for everyone in King County or at least Vashon Island but as my neighbors I want to tell you that there is also this fall back position being tossed around and if that works for you then you deserve to know about it.  

Where does that leave us for Tuesday, April 1st?  On Tuesday, there is a second zoning ordinance that will be considered after the Vashon Comprehensive Plan is considered.  I don’t know its ordinance number or what it is called, again, because they have not released the agenda for the TrEE meeting on the website.  This is just what I have been told by staff.  However, what it does is fix a whole slew of minor administrative errors across the county.  I have been told that this CUP change could be rolled into that.  That would be elegant and good government.

What can you do?

Make your voice heard.  I trust in representative government.  I have respect for my chosen council representative Joe McDermott too.  The only way our council members can represent us well is if they know what we think.  Call them up.  Emailing is ok too if you are nervous about it but the folks on the other side of the phone are always nice.  Don’t be mean with them.  They are just at work like you or me.

    1.  On the Vashon Comprehensive Plan topic.

This is the easy one.  Just call and tell them thanks for making sure that our Vashon Comprehensive Plan is considered on Tuesday April 1st by the TrEE Committee (“tree.”) and please get it completed as fast as legally possible.  We have jobs and major investment on the line here on Vashon.

    2.  On the CUP ceiling topic.

If you think that the CUP should be totally removed and that King County is just hindering business and being overly cautious, go ahead and call and tell them that you want the CUP removed for all of King County so we can get to work and compete with Eastern Washington where there is no CUP requirement.

If you think that 10,000sqft is an acceptable compromise, then tell them that is how you feel and ask them to make that happen right away on Tuesday too.

Take Action!

1. First off, you can call Councilman Rod Dembowski's office to thank him for making the Vashon Town Plan amendments a priority because we want the jobs and investment and to get K2 back to work.

Councilman Rod Dembowski, 206-477-1001, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov

2. Second, call our own Councilman Joe McDermott and tell him to do everything he can to give Vashon legal marijuana entrepreneurs relief from the burdens of the CUP requirement.

Councilman Joe McDermott, 206-477-1008, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov

Remember, these people are our friends. 

Epilogue

I spent several hours writing this today because watching my normally kind neighbors beat each other up online over inaccurate info on both sides is really difficult to watch.  When the staffs from Councilman McDermott’s office, Chief Executive Dow Constantine’s office and Councilman Rod Dembowski himself all shared real info with me today, I knew I needed to do what I could to disseminate it.

One last interesting piece of news today is that a letter to the editor ran in today’s Vashon Beachcomber from Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign that very much seems to endorse the Bakkhos/K2 deal to move forward.  He writes, ““Any political pressure for delays in the permitting process needs to cease or be transcended by King County government. The process, however flawed as it may be, needs to move forward. Failure to do so will continue to tear at the fabric of this community.”  So that is good news to share.
http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/letters/252330681.html

Thanks for your awareness of the community and caring enough to participate.

Shango Los
Founder, Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance

If you want to keep up with other news from the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance, sign up for our email list: http://bit.ly/14DRl9G

 

 

Posted on March 26, 2014 .

Contact a Councilman. Help Get K2 back to Work Now!

Dear Neighbor,

Thanks for your interest in supporting the zoning fix to the Vashon Town Plan that will allow legal marijuana business at K2.

To help get the needed fix made to the Town Plan, now is the time to write a quick note to Councilman Rod Dembowski who Chairs the King County Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee saying that you support the change to Vashon’s Town Plan and to stop the delays in moving forward.  Even better is if you call his office. Definitely do something though. (206-477-1001, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov)

If you want to take another step to influence the outcome of this important event, let our own Councilman Joe McDermott who represents Vashon Island also know that it is time to stop the delays and focus on making the change to the Town Plan so EdiPure can get to business…and hiring.  (206-477-1008, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov)

Make a Call!

Calling a Councilman is an easy thing to do.  The person answering the phone is usually very kind and will take a message for you and give it to the CM. 

Be very nice to them.  They are just at work like anybody is.

“Hi there.  My name is (name) and I am calling from Vashon Island to leave a message for Councilman (Name)

The message is:

1. Now is the time to fast track the changes to the Vashon Town Plan so that marijuana business can be allowed at the former K2 building.

2. The delays to King County coming to a decision are about to derail a deal that is positive for Vashon and will help Vashon thrive.

3.  Do not be overly cautious because you are hearing noises from Vashon agitators.  The vast majority of us on Vashon overwhelmingly voted for marijuana legalization and also want EdiPure on Vashon now.

Did you get all three points?

Thanks for you time and help getting this message to the Councilman.

Have a nice day.”

Send an Email!

If you’d rather send an email or wish to do both, feel free to use the framework below to send an email in your own words. This is the only way that your voice can be heard.  Posting to Facebook or petitions do not exert influence at this part of the legislative process.  That is all theater.

Please, be polite and undramatic. These folks are doing their best to represent us but they have only been hearing from scared folks and agitators. 

To:

King County Councilman, Rod Dembowski, Chair of the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee  rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov

King County Councilman, Joe McDermott joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov

<Points to make in your note.  Put in your own words or adapt these.>

It is essential to immediately fast track the change in our Vashon Town Plan to make way for EdiPure to begin business at the former K2 building.  I support the proposed zoning change to add legal marijuana as an approved use in our Town Plan and the delays and the hesitation by King County in moving forward are about to derail a very positive event for Vashon Island.

The K2 building has been fallow for far too many years and Vashon Island and King County can both use the increase in jobs, investment revenue and tax base.  I recognize that some agitators from the island may cause you to be cautious but now it not the time to delay.  If you do not take action now, EdiPure will be forced to look outside of King County and both Vashon and King County will loose a quality business locating here.

Our State legalized marijuana and our Island voted 78% in favor of it.  Legal marijuana should no longer be seen as a pariah and I wish the Town Plan to reflect this reality as the King County Council intended when it passed the comprehensive marijuana zoning rules.  And I want it to happen now.

Every day is of the essence right now in this quickly moving marketplace.  Now is not the time for King County to get caught up in indecision and hesitation.  I implore you take action today and make any changes necessary to get EdiPure into the K2 building immediately.

Thank you for your attention.

Respectfully

<Name and address>

 

Posted on March 23, 2014 .

Last gasp for K2 on Vashon Island

Opportunity

EdiPure just let me know that they are being forced off K2.  It seems King County is dragging their heels in giving them a permit for two reasons.  1. King County Council passed a poorly written ordinance that didn’t override the Vashon Town Plan when they intended to which caused the Public Hearing fiasco.  KC is ‘unsure’ when they will take the next step which means they are stalling with indecision because...  2. A small cadre of islanders are bombarding King County with aggressive emails, information requests and vague threats causing them to move even slower.  At this point EdiPure doesn’t even know if/when King County will let them know if they can stay on Vashon.  EdiPure thought they were coming to an island that would welcome them because they would give growers legal jobs and hire a bunch of other folks too for admin, security, driving and packaging and get K2 back to work.  King County’s intentional delay at the behest of a cadre of islanders makes Vashon openly hostile to business and so they must leave to look for opportunities elsewhere.  We have all waited so long for an opportunity like this and now no one is going to want to touch K2.

It does sound like King County is going with the easiest road which at this point is to do nothing and let EdiPure drift away so the emails and calls from agitators on the island stop.  “Whoops, not our fault!” is what King County will say of the delay.  It is all of this delaying that is killing the deal.  EdiPure said they would stay in the mix if they could only get some surety that the proper timeline could be held to so they could get to doing business.  If this burns your griddle like it does mine, there is only one thing to do.  Contact the only two people who matter at this point. #1 Tell Councilman Rod Dembowski (206-477-1001, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov) that you want the delays to stop and to get EdiPure into K2 now.  He’ll figure out how to do it.  He chairs the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee and is the one who can move this all forward if he wants to.  #2 For goodness sakes call Joe.  Our friend Councilman Joe McDermott is only hearing from the folks trying to derail the sale of K2.  Contact CM McDermott and ask him to fast track what needs to be done to get EdiPure into K2.  (206-477-1008, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov)

It is sad to think that all of the opportunity that comes with EdiPure at K2 could be sunk by a few self-righteous Vashon folks and a lack of visionary government.  Viva Vashon!

 

Posted on March 21, 2014 .

K2 Corporation Affirms its Committment to Vashon Island

This morning I received a copy of the commitment letter to Vashon Island that K2 sent the King County Council yesterday.  Read the whole thing because it is excellent and answers the concerns some had but the last paragraph is key.  They affirm what Bakkhos/EdiPure has been saying all along, that K2 has never asked to be let off the hook and they stand by their responsibility should some environmental issue be found in the future.  With this public reaffirmation from K2, hopefully those who had concerns can set them aside and our community can move forward with one vision.  Viva Vashon!

King County Council Letter_K2 Sports_022414_Signed.jpg
Posted on February 25, 2014 and filed under Press Release.

An Open Letter from EdiPure to Vashon Island

This morning we received a press release from VIMEA member Bakkhos Holding/EdiPure and we are reprinting it here so it is available to the public directly.

_____

An open letter to Vashon Island:

We at BAKKHOS Holding llc, the makers of EdiPure products, found on Vashon Island what we believe to be the best opportunity to become part of a vibrant community, where our values match those of the people who will become our neighbors. Our vision to expand our operations as leaders of our industry begins with becoming a member of the community of Vashon Island, through a commitment to service, employment, and preserving the identity of the Island and protecting the environment and precious resources of the Island.

To achieve that goal, we understand that becoming good neighbors and stewards of the Island means hearing the concerns of Island residents, and acting in the best interests of the community while building our new business in a new marketplace.

Our commitment to Vashon Island is to ensure that our operations do not interfere with the community, but instead enhance the lives of Vashon residents, through economic, environmental, and community improvements by our presence as part of the Island.

We commit to hiring Vashon Islanders first for all of our needs, whether working with us directly as employees in our facility, or as contractors for our plans to build out the building to suit our needs. We commit to engage with other businesses on the Island to create relationships to provide services for our company needs. We commit to becoming an important part of the business community by continuing our membership with the Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce and the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance.

We commit to being stewards of the Vashon Island environment and our planet by reducing the need for District 19 water through the installation of a catchment system for our cultivation irrigation needs, by immediately reducing the consumption of resources that the building has been known to use for the last five decades, and by continuously considering the environmental impact of our processes through improving and reducing our consumption of natural resources as our company grows.

We commit to the community by partnering with Vashon Island organizations to increase the education of Vashon Island and the state of Washington’s youth to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol use; by creating opportunities for use of portions of the property for

community purposes (if and where state and county laws allow); and through our direct involvement in events that improve the quality of life on Vashon Island.

We have heard the concerns of Vashon Island, and want to ensure the community that your concerns are ours too; we will ensure that the former owners provide us with an environmentally sound property to guarantee EdiPure with a clean start for our new operations, and provide the comfort to Island residents that the company entrusting the property in our hands has protected your interests over the last five decades.

We ask that those of you who are unsure if we are the right company to become stewards of the property consider that we have been open and honest about our intentions, and have provided you with a real look into who we are and what we do. We ask that Vashon Island consider that we want to be your neighbor, an employer of Vashon residents, a steward of the environment, and a real part of the community.

We look forward to becoming Vashon residents ourselves, and hope you’ll accept us for who we really are, not who some believe us to be.

Sincerely,

BAKKHOS Holding llc. Makers of EdiPure Products

Posted on February 24, 2014 and filed under Press Release, Sustainability.

Use Rainwater to Grow your Plants!

Today we begin a program of encouraging Vashon Island growers of all sorts of plants to use rainwater instead of water from the aquifer.  In most cases, the pH of our water table is sub-optimum for plants and this is especially so for marijuana.  The godfather of marijuana cultivation, Ed Rosenthal teaches that optimum pH for cannabis is 6.3 to 6.8 with a total hardness of 125-150ppm. The Vashon aquifer is 7.8 to 8.2 and 300ppm with some slight seasonal changes.  This is simply more reason to use a rainwater catchment system to water your plants year-round instead of using the tap.

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Posted on February 17, 2014 and filed under Sustainability.

"Cannabis as Medicine" with Dr. Michelle Sexton

On March 5th, VIMEA is hosting renowned cannabis researcher Dr. Michelle Sexton for a special two hour examination of cannabis as herbal medicine.

Get you ticket now to reserve your seat! http://cannabismedicine.eventbrite.com/

Dr. Michelle Sexton will examine the plant components, the historical record, it's classification as an herb, how it works as medicine via the endocannabinoid and other systems, and how to use it wisely and in combination with other therapies. She will discuss some common conditions that patients find it useful for such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and depression.

The intended audience for this presentation are health care providers, herbalists, clinicians, patients and other individuals wanting a better understanding of the scientific research into cannabis as a medical herb.

$10.00 per person to attend.  All proceeds go to charity. No one turned away for lack of funds so long as seats remain. Online sales end on March 5th at 3pm or when the seats are sold out.

The location is on Vashon Island right next to the North End ferry dock. If coming from Seattle, you save some money and can park in West Seattle and walk on the Vashon-Fauntleroy ferry.  The Grange Hall is located in the North End ferry parking lot on Vashon.  Very easy.  The 6:00pm and 6:30pm ferries from Fauntleroy West Seattle will both make the 20 minute trip in time for the 7pm event.  If you take the 6:30pm ferry make sure to buy your ticket in advance and hustle up to the parking lot because you will be cutting it close.

http://www.wsdot.com/ferries/schedule/ScheduleDetailByRoute.aspx?route=f-v

About Dr. Michelle Sexton

Dr. Sexton is Executive Medical Research Director at The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy.  She is a Naturopathic Doctor, herbalist and formerly a midwife currently in private practice in San Diego.  She began her formal study of phytochemicals with a degree in horticulture, and has specialized in the phytochemical analysis of botanical medicines and their application to neuroinflammation, specifically the role of the endogenous cannabinoid signaling system. She completed a three-year NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She conducted a clinical study examining the effects of Cannabis use on some defined immune parameters in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.  She has published original research in peer-reviewed journals and presented her research internationally She owned and operated Phytalytics LLC, a Cannabis analysis laboratory, and served as an editor/advisor on the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Cannabis monograph. She has been a consultant to the Washington State liquor control Board on the implementation of I-502. She is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians,. She provides continuing education to advanced practice nurses, physicians’ assistants and naturopathic doctors on clinical Cannabis use in Washington State.  Dr. Sexton serves on the Board of Directors for Americans for Safe Access Foundation and served as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee.  See Dr. Sexton’s publications.

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Posted on February 13, 2014 and filed under Medicine.

The new I Love Vashon pins have arrived

We all love Vashon Island.  Wear your VIMEA pin with pride and let folks know you love Vashon Island as well as support legal marijuana business.  We have been growing world class cannabis for generations and now is the time to take pride in our island's #1 cash crop.

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Posted on February 12, 2014 .

Vashon on the cover of the Humboldt County Newspaper!

We received hardcopies of the Humboldt County newspaper that covered VIMEA and Vashon Island growers! The pictures look fabulous! I will be dropping them off at Colibrí, Naked Hempstress, Behesht and our other grower friends over the next few days. If you missed it you can read it here: http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/this-is-what-legalization-looks-like

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Posted on January 17, 2014 and filed under Media Coverage.