The Long And Winding Road Leads To Where The Grass Is Always Greener…

WASHINGTON: Jenny Carbon & Shauna Mindt have become familiar faces to the Redmond Town Council, appearing regularly over the past three years giving testimony at countless public hearings in an effort to change local zoning restrictions that are impeding the couple’s ability to open the first pot shop in upscale Redmond, WA.

Awarded a lottery #1 position in March of 2014, the pair has found it nearly impossible to find a licensable property due to the tony community’s multitude of parks and other state mandated buffers.

Jenny and Shuana applaud Redmond, WA's new zoning regulations

Jenny and Shuana applaud Redmond, WA’s new zoning regulations

While the city of Redmond voted 62% in favor I-502 in November, 2012,  legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana, the city council has chosen a cautious “wait and see” approach for making any changes that would reduce restrictions, until this week. On June 7th, the body voted unanimously, with a 6-0 vote, to reduce buffers from 1,000 to 100 ft. —  the first city in Washington state to adopt the minimum requirements.

Although the journey has been much longer and more difficult than ever imagined what the duo has discovered is that “winning over hearts and minds takes time.

“There’s no greater victory then having the full support of your city council behind you,” Carbon told MJ News Network.  “Now we can get to the work of delivering safe and responsible access to our community.”

“We are thrilled to push open this door of discovery for Redmond residents,” Ms. Mindt added. “The world of what cannabis has to offer is still just beginning and what awaits us is amazing. We are very grateful to be at the forefront of the cannabis movement and thank the Marijuana Business Association, the Cannabis Women’s Alliance and support of entire community for bringing us across the finish line.”

 

Chelan Community Meeting About Plain Marijuana Farm; Jan 22nd

WASHINGTON: As previously posted on this site, the Chelan County Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the status of marijuana operations in the County on January 27th. This issue and meeting are of particular importance to our area because of the marijuana growing operation proposed for site in “downtown” Plain. The site is immediately adjacent to the Napeequa Winery.

The time for public testimony at the Planning Commission will be limited. To maximize the impact of information we can provide to the Commission and minimize duplication, members of the community who have been active in tracking this proposed activity would like to meet with all interested members of the community on January 22nd to prepare for the January 27th Planning Commission meeting.

Jerry Jennings of Plain will bring the community up to date on the facts regarding the proposed  “pot grow” in Plain and what the proposed Ban of the Production and Processing of Cannabis in unincorporated Chelan County will mean to all of us going forward.  Understanding they cannot be asked to take an advocate role or argue for us, it is hoped that law enforcement will be present to help community members understand the ramifications of this proposal for our community.  It is hoped that the meeting will bring community members together to organize what must be said and present it in a constructive, positive way to help the County know our concerns as they formulate future zoning restrictions and regulations regarding I-502.

The public meeting to prepare for the County hearing will be held at the Ponderosa Lodge at Mountain Springs Lodge on Chiwawa Loop Road at 7:00 PM on Friday, January 22nd.

 

Marijuana Committee Runs Into Impasse Over Local Control

OREGON:  The Oregon Legislature‘s special pot committee is in danger of going up in smoke after it reached an impasse Monday night over the issue of allowing local communities to ban medical marijuana facilities.

After a series of failed votes, the House-Senate committee recessed for the night and legislators said they weren’t sure what would happen next.

“The future of the committee is in the hands of the (legislative) leadership,” said Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, adding that the panel could be dissolved or temporarily split into separate House and Senate committees.

 

Snohomish County Council Says NOPE to R5 Zone Pot Farms

By Shawn DeNae

WASHINGTON: I am so disgusted, I could spit!  Snohomish County Council has voted to implement a permanent ban on legal cannabis operations on a majority of the previously available farm land in the county, the R5 Zone.

The members of the R5 Cooperative were blind-sided by the reversal from Chair Dave Somers who has feigned support of establishing standards to allow the use on some R5 properties.  Somers supposedly justifies his actions as helpful toward his bid for County Executive; apparently the NIMBY group has promised voter support.  Nice sell out, Mr. Somers.

The vocal minority represented by righteous members of No Operational Pot Enterprises has won the 7 month battle and vow to continue their war against legal weed by picketing licensed operators already established within R5.  They do not seem concerned about the 2000 or so unregulated ‘black market’ growers the County Sheriff, Pat Slack, estimates are in the same areas.

What is so frustratingly ironic, is that by squashing the opportunity for unregulated grows to move into a regulated and taxed system, the NOPE efforts are only fostering continuation of the black market!  It’s a classic case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

One major justification their leader, Dean Kepler, stated to King 5 is an overwhelming fear of loss in property values.  This has no basis and is in fact disputed with fact.  A search of zip codes heavy with R5 properties reveals that since the opening of R5 for legal grows until the temporary ban (Nov 2013 – Oct. 2014),  values have risen an average of 14.73%.  Compare this to highly desirable property in N. Seattle at 3% over the same time period and it appears the industry has helped to raise property values in these typically slow growth areas.

Zip Code / Area

Oct. ’13 – ’14
Median Sales Price
Year over Year
98223 / Arlington +5.9%
98252 / Granite Falls +32.5%
98290 / Snohomish +5.5%
98294 / Sultan +2.7%
98251 / Gold Bar +23.3%
98272 / Monroe +18.5%
6 Area Average +14.73%

 

The council did clarify that AG-10 land and Rural Industrial (RI) will remain open for producer/processors. This sounds good!  However, there is a pittance of RI zoned land and the vast majority of AG-10 zoned land is in flood plain which brings in a whole new set of road blocks; the main one that no commercial buildings can be built on flood plain land and the planning department code requires that processing buildings or indoor grows must meet IBC codes for commercial factory standards (F1 occupancy).  What this decision does for Snohomish County is set them up for a piece of the sin tax pie.  This ban on R5, while keeping open AG-10 and Rural Industrial, is a full ban in sheep’s clothing to hood wink the State into giving the County a slice while not allowing the industry to set up shop in any meaningful way.

The R5 Cooperative worked really hard to educate the Council with facts in the hopes to counter balance the fear based rhetoric.  We believed that communication vs litigation was the best path.  Now we see that the future personal political gain of Mr. Somers has taken president over the 100’s of hours that were invested to prevent this outcome.  I hope the county has deep pockets to fight all the lawsuits that are now sure to come.

For background on this story see previous article at Marijuana Venture Magazine. 

Read the Everett Herald article on the decision here:

 

93 Marijuana Dispensaries In Vancouver Identified By CBC

CANADA:  About 40 per cent of Vancouver’s marijuana businesses are less than 300 metres away from city schools and community centres — putting them in violation of the city’s proposed regulation on pot dispensaries.

The city released its list of 84 marijuana-related businesses operating within Vancouver on Friday, but admitted the list may not be complete.

The city initially denied a request to provide a comprehensive list, so lastweek CBC compiled one of its own. The disclosure comes as Vancouver announces it is looking at new rules to regulate the booming retail marijuana business, including a $30,000 licensing fee to help recover the cost of enforcement.

Regional District drafts medical marijuana bylaw

CANADA:  The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) has drafted a medical marijuana bylaw aimed at preventing grow-ops from cropping up near schools, daycare centres and hobby farms.

Prompted by changes to the way medical marijuana is being handled by federal and provincial law, the regional district started reviewing its zoning policies in July 2014.

Growing marijuana is legally permitted in areas within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and some of that land is close to public facilities, including schools, in Terrace and Hazelton.

Local governments are not allowed to prohibit medical marijuana facilities on ALR land, but the RDKS wants to ensure its zoning includes provisions to prevent grow-ops sprouting too close to certain places.

Pot Problem: Island Homeowners Say Grow-Op Stench Is Devaluing Properties

CANADA:  Homeowners in a Vancouver Island community are raising a stink about a medical marijuana grow operation they say is driving down their property values.

Shawnigan Lake resident Neil Haley lives just 30 metres away from the licensed grow-op, which moved into the community just under two years ago.

Haley says the stench that emanates from the facility often infiltrates his family’s home.

“The smell, at times, is overwhelming. It gets on our clothes,” he said. “Our bedrooms are right there as well. It goes through the bedroom window, we can’t have that open.”

 

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Manufacturers Prepare For Business

MINNESOTA:  Minnesota medical marijuana manufacturers have lined up several dispensary sites throughout state and are set to have the first harvest over the next few weeks.

In Minneapolis, construction is under way on the city’s first dispensary — a standalone 100-year-old downtown building that once housed the League of Catholic Women. This summer, it is expected to be one company’s flagship dispensary.

The state Department of Health has approved two manufacturers, LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions, also known as MinnMed, to grow, process and sell medical cannabis in pill or oil form to Minnesotans starting July 1.

Each manufacturer is allowed four distribution centers around the state. MinnMed may locate dispensaries only in odd numbered Minnesota congressional districts and LeafLine Labs in the even numbered districts. The people allowed to purchase medicinal cannabis must have one of the 10 medical conditions specified by the state.

 

City Of Revelstoke To Regulate Medical Marijuana Grow-Ops

CANADA:  The City of Revelstoke is proposing to allow medical marijuana grow ops only in parts of the city zoned light industrial.

Staff is asking council to give the go-ahead to develop a new bylaw that would create rules and regulations surrounding legal grow-ops in the community.

The bylaw would add a definition for Medical Marijuana Production facility and add its use to light industrial areas.

Currently, the industrial park, parts of the Big Eddy, a few areas along Westside Road and the community forest log yard on Highway 23 North are zoned light industrial.

 

Adams County Selects Applicants For Marijuana Businesses

COLORADO:  Adams County selected 10 entrepreneurs Tuesday afternoon to begin the process to open a marijuana business in an unincorporated area of the county.

The  county got 1,608 applications for three retail stores, three grow facilities, three infused-product manufacturing facilities and one testing facility.

The 10 selected applicants now have six months to get a state license, building permit and change-of-use permit for their business.

If a lottery winner doesn’t have all of that within six months — by 4 p.m. on July 21, to be precise — the county will call the next name that was pulled from the lottery, and that person would begin the process.