The Tax Man Cometh: Washington Shuts Down Recreational Dispensary

The Tax Man Cometh: Washington Shuts Down Recreational Dispensary

Flickr / Konrad Förstner / CC BY 2.0

On Feb. 9, 2017, Washington regulators shut down operations at Nine Point Growth Industries, the state’s second oldest licensed recreational marijuana dispensary. According to the Kitsap Sun, the company was closed, having nearly 2,000 plants and clones seized by the state, for repeatedly failing to pay its taxes.

The closing of Nine Point marks the first time that a legal marijuana operation has been closed by the state of Washington for failing to abide by state regulations. At the time of its closing, Nine Point had amassed nearly $29,000 in back taxes; although that debt had previously been much higher, soaring to $85,000 at one point.

According to Brian Smith, spokesperson for the WSLCB, Nine Point owner Gregory Stewart had an opportunity to address his debt with the state in a hearing, but failed to do so.

“He would pay and stop, pay and stop,” Smith told the Kitsap Sun. “He was offered up an opportunity for a hearing that he didn’t take.”

Nine Point was notified on Feb. 1 that it could sell or destroy the company’s stock of cannabis before the closure; however, Nine Point neglected to do so, prompting the WSLCB to seize the cannabis that remained.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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