West Richland to research pot ordinances

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 3, 2013 

If someone wants to sell marijuana in the city of West Richland, city offiicals want to be prepared.

The city council directed staff Tuesday to begin researching and drafting the necessary ordinances so it would be ready if someone applies for a license to sell marijuana in West Richland in November.

Whether to pass a six-month moratorium on the retail sale and manufacturing of marijuana was the main topic at Tuesday's council meeting.

City attorney Bronson Brown said the Washington State Liquor Control Board has yet to come up with regulations governing sales of marijuana and likely would not announce them until November.

Council members discussed the pros and cons of passing the moratorium now, later or not at all.

Brown told the council that researching and drafting ordinances for land use and zoning regulations for marijuana sales would take several weeks. He also told the council that its "drop dead date to pass a moratorium on marijuana sales is the first council meeting in November."

"We can always pass a moratorium on issuing a license to sell marijuana closer to November," said Councilman Bob Perkes.

Brown agreed, saying the moratorium could also be lifted earlier than six months if the council decided to do that.

The Pasco City Council approved on Tuesday a six-month moratorium on producing, processing and selling marijuana in the city. The Kennewick and Richland city councils have discussed similar moratoriums, but have yet to implement them.

Councilmen Rich Buel and Brent Gerry were excused from attending Tuesday's meeting.

Also Tuesday, the council voted to replace the city's 1974 Ford dump truck with a newer, used truck.

Roscoe Slade III, public works director, said the city received $3,000 for the old truck and the one he's hoping to purchase is a 2001 Sterling dump truck for about $50,000. The $3,000 will go toward the purchase price of the newer truck.

The council authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Wilson Fleet Services of Mt. Vernon, Wash., to buy the truck at auction.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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