West Richland is asking the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board to revoke a license that would allow a marijuana store to open in a house near a preschool.
The city says it wasn’t given the chance to evaluate the plan for a property that is completely surrounded by the city.
The owners of The Garden LLC, operating as Nirvana Cannabis Co., are redeveloping a single-family home on Arena Road into a retail marijuana shop.
The property is in an unincorporated Benton County “donut hole.” The Garden received permission to transfer its license from Prosser to the new location.
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West Richland and Richland both ban such businesses. Benton County considered a similar ban in 2015 but has taken no action so it is allowed but state law limits where they can be located.
For example, marijuana retail operations cannot be within 1,000 feet of a child care center or school.
The Kid Space Preschool and Early Learning Academy, 4001 Kennedy Road, is 151 feet away.
The intended use is out of scale with the neighboring uses given the anticipated traffic but most importantly, located too close to a preschool.
Adam Lambert, West Richland community development director
In a June 16 letter to the cannabis board, West Richland said neither it nor neighboring Richland were notified of the transfer and were not given the opportunity to determine if it is compatible with neighboring businesses.
“(I)n this instance that did not occur,” wrote Aaron Lambert, West Richland’s community development director.
Lambert said the city only learned that a marijuana business would open when the proprietors sought permission to add a new driveway on Arena to connect to the parking lot.
“The intended use is out of scale with the neighboring uses given the anticipated traffic but most importantly, located too close to a preschool,” wrote Lambert.
Washington voters legalized marijuana sales in 2012.