The city of Pasco, Washington, this week officially lifted a 10-year ban on retail cannabis, a historic change for that part of the state.
The city council on Monday voted in favor of rezoning to lift the ban, voting 5 to 3 in favor. according to Tricity Herald.
The paper reported that the vote “ended a decade-long battle by local cannabis activists and business owners to demand government deregulation in the city of 80,000 people.”
“The ordinance prohibits three commercial districts (C-1, C-2, and C-3) and three industrial districts (I-1, I-2, and I-3) throughout the city. Unlocks and opens business to certain areas along North Road 68, Kings Corner, Broadmoor Boulevard, East Lewis Street, Court Street.Effective 5 days after approval until publication requirements exist.” Herald.
The vote makes Pasco the first city in the so-called “Tri-Cities,” a metropolitan area in eastern Washington made up of three adjacent communities (the other two being Richland and Kennewick).
Washington state became one of the first two states in the country to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in 2012, when voters approved a ballot measure to end the ban. (Colorado voters approved a similar proposal the same year.)
Some countries and cities disagreed with Washington’s new law and instead voted to ban retail cannabis sales in their jurisdictions.
But as legalization spread across the country over the years, some residents of those communities had second thoughts. of Tricity Herald report Earlier this year, “a 2021 community survey showed that 46% of Pasco residents would not support changes that would allow retail marijuana sales in the city, while about 45% said they strongly or somewhat supported it.” ” announced.
Newspaper reported in March The Pasco city council voted to proceed with “a plan to draft an ordinance to lift the ban on retail cannabis in commercial and industrial areas,” it said, but rejected a proposal to “seek voters’ input on this issue.”
“This decision brings Pasco even closer to becoming the first city government to lift a retail ban on cannabis in the Tri-Cities. It will have to be passed,” he said. Herald I reported it then. “Interim city manager Adam Lincoln estimates that cannabis retailers could bring Pasco at least $200,000 a year in revenue,” he said.
The day officially became Monday.
“The current draft ordinance limits the number of potential cannabis retail establishments to three, for a total of four, as long as they are ‘social equity licensees. This reflects the number of licenses currently available for the city of Pasco and Franklin County generally, as allocated by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Commission. It’s unclear what the actual effect of the Social Equity Licensing Program will be, but it seems likely that licenses assigned to other counties may be placed in Pasco in the future. The draft ordinance includes limits on the number of commercial establishments. However, this is not a requirement of the ordinance and could easily be amended if Congress so chooses to do so. It should also be noted that the proposed ordinance does not recognize “cooperatives” and still bans cannabis production and processing facilities in the city of Pasco at the request of Congress. ”