Kennewick To “Consider” Marijuana Ban – Councilman Asks for Proposal
We reported to you about Yakima County Commissioners moving forward a land-use ordinance that would essentially wipe out the pot business there, now some Kennewick City Council members are considering a similar move.
At the City Council meeting this week, Councilman Greg Jones asked for a proposal banning all pot related business ( growing, processing and selling) and three other council members agreed.
While Jones said he felt "sorry" for those who had applied with the State Liquor Control Board for licenses to grow, process or sell the drug, he doesn't want it in his city. Like numerous other communities, Kennewick might be spurred to ban the drug based upon Attorney General Bob Ferguson's non-legally binding opinion that I-502 doesn't prevent cities or counties from their own pot bans. It is likely Jones' opinion is also based upon voter results showing I-502 was defeated by a solid margin in Benton County. (See map below story).
Ferguson's decision basically says:' there's nothing in this initiative's wording that says they (municipalities) cannot ban all pot related business, and if it went to court, I believe the municipalities would win.' In other words, it appears I-502 was full of legal holes, contrary to the beliefs of the ACLU and others who wrote it.
Part of the reason Kennewick has been under a moratorium is because the city did not have ANY statutes or regulations on the books specifically dealing with zoning and other governing of pot stores. Jones doesn't want city workers wasting time trying to come up with zoning regulations and codes if it's going to be banned.
Yakima, Wenatchee, and soon Yakima County, have or will have banned the drug. But the City of Wenatchee is being sued by a person who applied for a pot store license from the state.
For the record, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Connell, Kennewick, Franklin County and Walla Walla county have moratoriums currently preventing such business.
Prosser, Benton City and Benton County (outside of Kennewick and Richland) ARE allowing pot-related business. In fact, the only Southeastern Washington pot growing operation license has been granted to a grower in Benton City.
While no licenses have yet been granted for a store yet, city officials have reportedly been told a license for a retail shop is pending. Officials will consider the ban further at an upcoming workshop.