Out of the 1,312 proposed marijuana retail locations in the state of Washington, 19 of them reside right here in Ballard, which appears to lead the way in Seattle neighborhood concentration. Before you get excited — or upset — Seattle is planning to approve only 21 stores citywide, so likely Ballard will end up with just a small handful or less.
Here’s the state map compiled by the AP’s Mike Baker. You’ll also notice a fair number in Phinney-Greenwood and a mini-concentration in Fremont, with long stretches of proposed shops along Aurora and Lake City Way. Of all the big neighborhoods, Queen Anne and Magnolia have the fewest.
A bevy of restrictions dictate these concentrations more than the nuances of our neighborhood cultures. For starters, I-502 bans marijuana retail storefronts within 1,000 feet of places like schools and libraries. Then there are state and local zoning restrictions, creating a very complicated set of criteria for the state to sift through when approving the final batch.
We’ll update you when the Ballard locations are finalized.