Vancouver’s newest pot shop to provide testimony at legislative hearing

VBJ File

Jim Mullen, chief operating officer at The Herbery NW (212 NE 164th Ave.), will testify during a finance committee hearing in Olympia this evening. Mullen’s testimony will center around two bills currently under consideration: House Bill 2136 and Senate Bill 5467.

Both bills call for eliminating the three-tier tax structure voters approved in Initiative 502 and replacing it with a single excise tax.

Mullen said the new legislation would positively change the heavy taxation small businesses in the young cannabis industry are struggling with.

“I support this legislation for everything it does to simplify the multi-layered tax system which is currently being levied against regulated cannabis businesses,” wrote Mullen in his testimony, which was provided to the Vancouver Business Journal in advance of the hearing. “The current system is especially onerous because our main competitors are unregulated and free from the levels of taxation that tie my hands and negatively impact my customers. As a result, unregulated and illegal players are rewarded with the ability to offer a consistent price break. With swift action and support for this bill, you can positively impact the marketplace so regulated business people like me stand a better chance.”

The Herbery, which opened its doors on Saturday, February 7, is Vancouver’s newest marijuana retail store. The owners intend to open a second Vancouver store in April, followed by future locations in Oregon, Colorado and across the country as legalization proliferates.