Walla Walla City Council eyes ban on pot businesses

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WALLA WALLA — The business plans of 20 marijuana entrepreneurs could end up pipe dreams if the City Council approves a recently proposed pot ban.

At Wednesday’s 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, the Council will review a proposal to repeal the city’s previously approved marijuana ordinances — which established zoning codes where marijuana businesses can locate — and instead enact a moratorium to ban all production, processing and retailing within city limits.

In his report to the Council, City Attorney Tim Donaldson noted that during a 30-day application window last fall the Washington State Liquor Control Board received five applications for producers (growers), six applications for processors and nine applications for retailers, all wanting to operate in Walla Walla city limits.

But a recent opinion from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office has left cities and counties with a strong possibility that they can ban some or all commercial marijuana operations.

The opinion from Attorney General Robert Ferguson and Assistant Attorney General Jessica Fogel stated Initiative 502 possessed “no clear indication” that it was “intended to preempt local authority to regulate” marijuana business.

Donaldson noted, however, that if a business were to receive city approval before a ban, that businesses would be grandfathered in and allowed to operate regardless of any future ban.

Last month, City Council denied its first and only request so far to open a marijuana business. The request to open the business at 1491 Rose St. was denied because that section of town is not zoned for both marijuana production and processing.

Donaldson made no recommendation on whether to approved the marijuana moratorium. He did add that if Council approves it, there would be future opportunities to hear public opinion on whether to keep the ban.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

Comments

brooklyn2008 11 months, 1 week ago

grow up wallawalla Its time!!!!!!

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dou1t2 11 months, 1 week ago

The will of the people voted to approve it statewide, why is it that lawmakers who I believe are older, and thus have an old school belief system and old school values are now finding ways, or at least trying, to overturn what the states people voted for.

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jimbek 11 months, 1 week ago

Vote the council out. I have tired of them dictating their opinion onto the citizens of Walla Walla. They didn't like the purple octopus, so its gone, they like wine (alcohol) so WW has wineries everywhere, they wanted to give/get raises, and it was done. WW even missed out on a Costco that would have brought respectable wages, not more Walt-Mart type slave wages. I don't see where they are doing anything for the people, just their wants in their little private club.

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barracuda 11 months, 1 week ago

Maybe they are basing this decision on the fact that WW voted against pot legalization. So they feel it prudent to listen to the voters, (for once). I see in the news where Yakima is discussing doing this as well.........

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pdywgn 11 months, 1 week ago

The city/county can absolutely outlaw marijuana. The state can't force an illegal law on the county. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, which supersedes state law. I agree with jimbek though. I plan on voting every member out of the City Council. County Commissioners all the way to the White House. My vote is to fire every one of them. That's Term Limits!

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