I agree with Richland Mayor John Fox "... we should proceed as quickly as we can with the (zoning) ordinance process." Marijuana business owners should be expected to take their tax revenue and employment to communities more willing to work with them. Based on national statistics, there are likely at least 14,000 existing customers in Benton County alone.
The not-in-my-backyard types can be counted on to make irrational noise, but we are replacing the more dangerous, unregulated sales going on in all our neighborhoods with a far safer farm-to-market system, wherever they are sited.
It is a shame Costco isn't likely getting into this trade, as they have with alcohol. I don't think you can buy "just one ounce" of anything there, if you include packaging, but they know how to keep product and distribution costs down.
It will be marketing that determines our success. Care must be taken not to stigmatize buyers and to price product competitively. The measure of our success will be the degree to which we take away profits from the underground market and supply revenue to local government. Be encouraged that moonshiners haven't taken much profit out of our state since liquor became available through open retail outlets. Encourage our elected officials to move ahead with local marijuana sales, without meaningless, perhaps moralizing, delay.
Never miss a local story.
-- IVAR HUSA, Richland