OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Tuesday issued an emergency liquor license suspension of 180 days for STOP N MART, located at 1501 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Tacoma. The suspension is effective for 180 days beginning March 27, 2018 until September 23, 2018. During that time the WSLCB will seek permanent revocation of the license.
Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal in every way.
The Board’s action follows an undercover investigation by the Tacoma/Pierce County Special Investigative Unit where officers were able to purchase a controlled substance on the premises. On Feb. 26, 2018, officers purchased from the licensee an illegal synthetic cannabinoid commonly known as “spice.”
On March 19, 2018, a search warrant was executed by the Tacoma Police Department, Tacoma Code Enforcement, Tacoma Fire Department officials and officers from the WSLCB. The licensee, Mr. Phong Hwan Kim, was booked by Tacoma Police for two counts of Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. Several packages of “Spice” were taken into evidence.
Based on the threat to public safety, the WSLCB is imposing an immediate suspension of the licensee’s liquor license to be followed by an administrative proceeding seeking revocation of the liquor license. The WSLCB is authorized by state law to issue an emergency suspension of up to 180 days of a liquor license when it believes the “health, safety or welfare” of the general public is in danger. The WSLCB issued one emergency suspension in 2017 and one other thus far in 2018.