Spokane marijuana mogul sets sights on Ontario

ONTARIO – The Spokane man trying to open the Ontario community to retail marijuana sales has built a multimillion-dollar business in Washington state and is expanding into his native Iowa.

Ontario city officials last week cleared the way for Tate T. Kapple to begin gathering signatures to force a November vote on whether to repeal the local ban on marijuana sales.

A competing measure crafted by local residents also would repeal the ban, but by early this week city officials had not approved it for signatures.

While voters statewide approved marijuana sales in 2014, Ontario strongly voted against the measure, and the Ontario City Council the following year formally instituted a ban on dispensaries. City records show Kapple testified at a public hearing in 2015 on the matter, urging the city not to impose the ban.

Kapple’s proposed measure lays out details about how dispensaries would be licensed, who could hold the licenses, and provisions to enforce what would be new city law. Kapple didn’t respond to email and telephone messages from the Malheur Enterprise.

His recently-approved application to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in Iowa details his background and the success of his Spokane operation.

Iowa state officials released the application to the Enterprise Monday.

In it, Kapple described himself as a fifth-generation Iowan whose parents were dentists.

He managed a Nike retail outlet, sold insurance and operated a real estate firm in Spokane before opening his marijuana business.

According to press reports in Spokane, Kapple was 24 when he opened Cannabis and Glass.

“Tate developed C&G out of compassion for people wanting access to therapeutic alternatives to pharmacological drugs,” according to his Iowa application.

His partner is listed as Cristy Aranguiz, a former corporate recruiter and television news reporter. She was in Spokane real estate before joining Kapple to found the marijuana business.

In the Iowa application, Kapple said his Spokane business operates from two locations and will do an estimated $20 million in business in 2018. The company “serves approximately 1,000 patients every day,” the application said.

The company helps fund substance abuse prevention efforts and community health centers, the application said.

Kapple will operate as Iowa Cannabis Company, selling medical marijuana in Waterloo starting later this year, according to his Iowa application.