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Ana Sofia Knauf
Puget Sound Business Journal|www.bizjournals.com/seattle

Once the legal market for recreational marijuana opens in 2014, a firm called Arbormain plans to open warehouses around the state to be used by as many as 24 entrepreneurs for growing, processing and testing a range of marijuana products.

As the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to open the market, it’s taking applications from businesses for licenses under Initiative 502 regulations.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, the parent company, said he has about a dozen clients lined up and believes these Arbormain business hubs will be crucial to creating a thriving legal cannabis industry in Washington. read more »

 

A group of elected officials sent a letter to Port of Seattle commissioners this week urging the port to allow the $15 minimum wage law to take effect within Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The letter, which was signed by more than 50 political leaders in the region, called on port commissioners to allow the voter-approved Proposition 1 wage measure to take effect at the airport through an interlocal agreement with the city.

“Political leaders including our governor, the mayor of Seattle, and others understand keenly that voters want results,” the letter said. “The Port’s current position stands in sharp contrast to the tide of public discourse.” read more »

 

SeaTac wage activists attended a Port of Seattle Commission meeting on Tuesday to appeal to commissioners to get a $15-per-hour minimum wage reinstated at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

On Dec. 27, King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas struck down part of a city of SeaTac ordinance that would have increased the minimum wage from $9.32 per hour to $15 per hour for some employees at the airport, which is run by the port, as well as others outside the airport. Her decision limited the minimum-wage increase to some hospitality workers in the city of SeaTac. Wage activists have appealed her decision to the state Supreme Court.

Several of those who spoke Tuesday were airport workers who would be directly affected if the ordinance was reinstated. Wage activists say the measure would affect about 4,700 airport workers. read more »

 

A King County Superior Court judge says she will rule after Christmas whether to uphold the nationally watched SeaTac minimum wage initiative, which would increase the pay of many airport-related workers to $15 per hour.

Judge Andrea Darvas held a nearly three-hour hearing on the measure last week in a packed courtroom at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent. A lawsuit filed by Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association seeks to overturn Proposition 1, approved by voters in the city of SeaTac in the November election.

Darvas heard lengthy arguments from both sides during the hearing. read more »

 

Now that SeaTac city voters have given them a pay raise, some airport workers already are entertaining hopes of a better lifestyle.

To some airport workers, the nationally watched minimum wage increase that goes into effect Jan. 1 - assuming it withstands legal challenges and a recount — could change everything from weaning their families off the local food bank to being able to afford housing closer to where they work.

“I wouldn’t have to take a two-hour commute,” said Eric Frank, a baggage handler who lives in the Pierce County town of Lakewood, an hour each way by bus from the airport.

Elections officials certified the 77-vote victory margin for the SeaTac minimum wage measure on Nov. 24, but business-led opposition groups are seeking a recount and challenging the measure in court. read more »

 

After clearing an early pathway for marijuana legalization, medical cannabis activists are afraid their businesses could be swept under as Initiative 502 forces them to comply with new regulations designed with the recreational market in mind.

The Seattle City Council voted last week to require medical and recreational marijuana businesses to apply for a marijuana license under I-502 regulations, which legalized recreational cannabis. The rule would place medical and recreational cannabis programs in the same channel, requiring them to obtain the same license, said Alison Holcomb, attorney for the state’s American Civil Liberties Union and author of I-502.

“The government is trying to control medical marijuana and load (those businesses) onto the Titanic that is 502 (licensing) and set it asail,” said Steve Sarich, leader of the Cannabis Action Coalition. “That would eliminate medical and I-502 in one fell swoop.” read more »

 

Seattle startup Porch opened its website to the public Tuesday, giving users nationwide access to what CEO Matt Ehrlichman calls “the first home improvement network.”

Ehrlichman had $6.5M in seed money before his company even had a website to show investors. Although the site launched Sept. 17, the CEO said the company has been making money since Porch’s website went up for businesses several months ago, though he would not reveal revenues.

For $35 per month, a business can create a Porch profile from which it can compare its rates to those of other companies using marketing and analytics tools, view local competitors’ projects and create a portfolio of past work for clients to browse. read more »

 
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