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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

City draws map of pot areas

Spokane leaders on Tuesday got a glimpse of where the first pot for recreational use might be grown or sold legally within city limits.

The map is heavily dominated by areas north of Interstate 90 and east of Division Street, especially east Hillyard, along East Trent Avenue and several commercial areas north of Francis Avenue.

City Council members said they need to study the map more, but some had initial concerns.

“I’m a little worried if it’s all concentrated in one area,” said Councilman Jon Snyder, who has pushed the city to consider the impact of marijuana legalization. “And if there are little pockets in dense residential neighborhoods, that’s not good either.”

City Councilman Mike Fagan, who represents northeast Spokane, said given restrictions in the law and the existence of medical marijuana since the late 1990s, he’s not overly worried about the dominance of available land for marijuana in northeast Spokane.

City planners unveiled the map at a meeting Tuesday afternoon between the Spokane City Council and the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is working to create many other regulations for the soon-to-be legal (at least under state law) marijuana industry.

Another large chunk of land available for marijuana businesses is near Spokane International Airport. Other pot-friendly locations include eastern downtown, along the Division-Ruby couplet, along Monroe Street between Indiana and Euclid avenues, along Francis between Division and Crestline streets, and at Southeast Boulevard and 29th Avenue.

There are several small pockets of land throughout the city that also could be available for marijuana businesses.

City Planner Louis Meuler, who helped create the draft map, said planners did their best to interpret rules in the initiatives and used data on hand to rule out commercial and industrial areas.

The 64-page state law approved by voters in November says marijuana can’t be produced or sold within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, “recreation center or facility,” child care center, public park, public transit center, library or “game arcade admission” open to people younger than 21.