Posts tagged: marijuana restrictions
Valley leaders unanimously adopted new restrictions on recreational marijuana retailers tonight despite warnings from pot entrepreneurs that it could doom the fledgling industry's success here.
The local restrictions go beyond the existing state prohibitions on marijuana operations within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and libraries. In the Valley, retail operations also are now prohibited within 1,000 feet of the Centennial Trial and planned Appleway Trail, as well as any land earmarked for future schools, parks or libraries. A late addition to the ordinance also prohibits retail operations near Spokane Valley City Hall or city-owed property that could be used for parks or city operations in the future.
Several people urged the council to reject the additional restrictions, with some prospective retailers warning that they may have to consider a lawsuit against the city if the additional restrictions prevent them from finding suitable locations to open their stores.
Crystal Orcutt called the restrictions hypocritical because no other industry faces the same types of restrictions. Orcutt noted that there's an adult products emporium across the street from city hall and several bars and cocktail lounges nearby, both of which she suggested pose greater threats to the health of the community.
“The zoning restrictions that are being suggested here tonight are too restrictive,” she said.
The proposal was approved unanimously without comment by council members.
Spokane Valley eased restrictions tonight on where recreational marijuana can be grown and packaged.
The move is designed to open industrial sites north of the Spokane River along the city’s eastern edge that were excluded when Spokane Valley imposed a 1,000-foot buffer around the Centennial Trail. Retail marijuana stores are still prohibited within the buffers.
Commercial real estate agents, industrial property owners and would-be marijuana producers told council members the river is a better buffer than an arbitrary 1,000 feet, and that opening up the industrial sites even to limited production and processing will bring new companies and jobs to the city.
The council unanimously approved the change.
More than 30 companies have applied to the state for production and processing licenses in Spokane Valley, while 43 more have applied for retail licenses. The state will allow just three retail operations in the city, but there’s no geographical limit on the number of licensed producers and processors.
Just a month after banning marijuana operations within 1,000 feet of recreational trails, Spokane Valley appears to be reconsidering the move after commercial real estate brokers, landlords and pot entrepreneurs warned it's driving away potential new jobs.
Industrial property north of the Spokane River, where several potential pot processing operations are hoping to locate, was rendered off limits by the city's interim zoning restrictions adopted in February because the southern property line is barely within 1,000 feet of the Centennial Trail on the other side of the Spokane River. Landowners suggested the river is its own natural buffer zone between the trail and the potential marijuana operations.
City Council members agreed.
“I think we need to use some common sense,” said Councilman Bill Bates.
The required buffer around recreational trails in Spokane Valley is in addition to the state-mandated buffer zones around parks and schools.
Mayor Dean Grafos wants a proposed amendment drafted that would impose the local buffer restrictions on retail operations only, which effectively would clear the way for the industrial property north of the river.
The proposal likely will be considered next month.
But some council members don't want people getting the wrong idea.
“I still don't like marijuana (and) … wish we could just ban it,” said Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard. “But I think the intent of what we were trying to do was prevent families from being accosted by it, and I think the river becomes a pretty good barrier.”