Tacoma firm gets the first marijuana processing license in Pierce County

Prices in August should range upwards of $20 per gram

Staff writerMay 29, 2014 

A Tacoma firm has received the first license in Pierce County allowing the processing of recreational marijuana.

The State Liquor Control Board, the regulating body for licenses to grow, process and sell marijuana under Initiative 502, has announced that Commencement Bay Production and Processing, located in  the 3100 block of South Pine Street, can begin processing marijuana plants.

Commencement Bay Director Tyler Severy said Thursday his company should be ready to deliver to retailers by mid-August.

The company will market its products under the brand “Rainier Gardens” and production will be limited to eight “strains” of marijuana. The company has hired a master grower from New Mexico, Severy said.

The Commencement Bay operation, located in a former commercial gymnasium, comprises a series of shipping containers in which marijuana is grown, also under license from the state. The facility is monitored by 75 security cameras.

Severy said the licensing process – including background checks and fulfillment of several security and other criteria – “was easy, professional and thorough.”

“At the end of the day we want to provide the industry with a safe, secure, high quality product and become the model for a state-licensed 502 operation,” he said. “We believe our business experience and our proprietary processing system will give us that ability.”

Severy said he expects to begin production at 50 percent of the facility’s potential. Commencement Bay will focus its operation on “dry flower” rather than processing edible cannabis or concentrates.

Although no firm figures are available, Severy said he expects the early price of marijuana at the retail level will range from $18-$22 per gram, about twice the price of medicinal marijuana sold in the area.

“We’re going to let the market speak,” he said.


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