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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Veteran-Owned Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Close June 30

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Rainier Xpress owner Patrick Seifert says he will have to close his military veteran-focused medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Olympia on June 30 because he failed to win a license under the new, regulated medical marijuana system.

The end is near for a veteran-owned medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Olympia. It’s a casualty of the state merging recreational and medical marijuana.

At Rainier Xpress there’s a Wall of Honor--photographs of customers during their time in the military. Owner Patrick Seifert is a former Marine himself. But now after four years of serving veterans and their medical marijuana needs, he’s preparing to close up shop.

“What we do here is so important and it’s heartbreaking,” Seifert said.

Seifert failed to win a state license to continue operating after July 1. Seifert said he paid his taxes and had a business license. But still he didn’t qualify as a tier one applicant.

And now Seifert and his nine employees face the unemployment line. The Liquor and Cannabis Board said there were more than 2,000 applicants for only 222 licenses.

“Unfortunately the cap that they put on is what ultimately is damaging all the good players,” Seifert said.