Greenfield Company Pot Shop Reopens in Clarkston – Lewis-Clark Valley Community – Promotions

Late last night, Greenfield Company, a business that was shut down in previous months for not obtaining a business license to sell recreational marijuana, announced that their doors will now be open.

Late last night, Greenfield Company, a business that was shut down in previous months for not obtaining a City of Clarkston business license to sell recreational marijuana, announced that their doors will now be open.

Greenfield Company posted this to their facebook page:

“As you might have heard, Greenfield Company was spared by the Div III appeals court today. The city’s injunction was lifted, and our doors opened for a short period last night. We will continue to operate from 10am to 7pm daily starting this morning. The lifting of the injunction is temporary until the court of appeals is able to decide this matter. Yesterday evening the Clarkston City Council voted to spend more of the city’s tax dollars on a motion for reconsideration. The motion will be filed by an attorney from Yakima because Clarkston’s two attorneys are incapable. City attorney Jim Grow equated the process to performing brain surgery.”

Source: Greenfield Company Pot Shop Reopens in Clarkston – Lewis-Clark Valley Community – Promotions

Shilo Morgan on Family, Community, and Cannabis in the Tri-Cities WA | anonalyss


Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.” 

–Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Interview: SHILO MORGAN – On Family, Community, and Cannabis in the Tri-Cities. 

The court system has ground Lucky Leaf’s business operations to a standstill, meanwhile inventory sits on the shelf while the case winds its way to appeals court. All of the revenue that came in during the 19 days of business has gone to excise taxes, sales taxes, and legal fees. With two kids age 9 and 12, Shilo Morgan has her family to think about. A ruling was made in Clarkston lifting the injunction against the two licensed retail facilities, which sets legal precedent that might apply to the City of Pasco’s injunction against Lucky Leaf.

There are four objectives to this story.

  1. Learn who Shilo and David are and what they stand for
  2. Understand the current situation
  3. Understand who is affected by cannabis bans.
  4. Learn what you can do to help.

Objective 1: Meet Shilo & David Morgan

If you don’t mind, I’d like to re-introduce Shilo and David Morgan. I want you to know what I know about Shilo and David as humans, parents, and caring members of your community. Discouraged by what seems like discrimination, David is nearly ready to give up on his hometown, Pasco, and move away or relocate their store. But for Shilo, this is also about the message she’s sending her kids.

“We have a family here. We have a 12 year old and a 9 year old. This is where they grew up, this is where they go to school. What would giving up prove to our kids, or to our customers, or to our supporters? It’s not just about us or Lucky Leaf at this point, it’s about everybody.” 


Shilo and David Morgan with their children at a Seahawks game.

Shilo and David own Lucky Leaf Co. and Versatile Graphic Design.

You might be surprised to learn that Shilo and David’s two children attend St. Patrick’s Catholic School where Shilo is an active volunteer, coordinating charity auctions and mentoring students in Junior Achievement. Outgoing and warmhearted, Shilo calls everyone “Love” and makes people feel like they matter. Decked out in Seahawks fan gear, hands full of stacks of legal documents, Shilo’s voice carries an uncharacteristic heaviness as she describes the effects of the proceedings on her family and employees who are now out of work.

“I’m working on my teaching degree to become a K-8 teacher. I took time off from my education to open this business.” Shilo says. “I have relatives who moved all the way across the state to help us open. And my employees… this has cost people their jobs.”


Shilo and Christy reviewing legal documents for Lucky Leaf’s case.

A family man, David Morgan one of the kindest humans I’ve met. He posts on Facebook about being proud of his kids and cheers them on at sporting events. In person, his demeanor is utterly gentle; but there is a massive amount of quiet strength and courage beneath. If I had to guess, I’d say there isn’t an unkind bone in his body. He and Shilo clearly have a strong bond to each other, their children, and their extended families. A graphic designer, David’s profile describes him as a family man:

When he’s not working on on something awesome like a logo or building a website David enjoys spending time with his family and friends, boating, BBQ’n and gaming with his son David Jr. on Xbox 360. David has always enjoyed arts and design and after graduating in 2009 from WSU Tri-Cities, he opened Versatile Design Studios.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to wake-up everyday and work doing something I enjoy.”

If you’ll allow me to interject with some overgeneralizations for just a moment, I’d like to share observations about three major types businesspeople I’ve encountered in the early I-502/recreational cannabis industry:

  • In it for the money. I refer to these types “drug dealers” because these people care not about the quality of the product, only the potency and quantity since recreational cannabis products usually end up being priced according to $/mg THC. They manufacture what they think “the kids want these days” and almost never test their own products (a=sounds like a drug dealer, does it not?). Some of these are involved in the industry already, and many more are waiting in the wings. The point is, they don’t care about you except as you pertain to their bottom line, and are largely ignorant of therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
  • Former black market people with skillz but little money or business sense. These types often care very much about the quality of their product, but can be scientifically questionable – forces exerted by prohibition led to some odd evolutions. Oftentimes they know that a process works, but not why it works, or whether it’s the best one. Many of them are nonchalant about safety, lacking basic laboratory safety training. In a risk-averse area, rumors about this type can certainly sound alarming. I don’t think these types are inherently untrustworthy, and believe they should be shepherded into the industry with an eye for safety and sound science. Prohibition is ending, and the artisans knowledge could be lost.
  • The “good ones.” Well, this will probably get me into trouble, but I don’t know how else to describe it. These are the conscientious people with decent business sense and scruples, who “know they don’t know”, and seem to value continuous learning. They’re often just normal family types, the kinds you’d expect to see running a small local business. Of course they want to make money with their business because duh, that’s the point of a business, but they care about the wellbeing of their customers first and foremost. They’re often pot smokers and had an “upstanding citizen” past life before starting a cannabis business. David & Shilo, obviously, are in this category.

The problem right now is that the people that you really want leading the charge in cannabis legalization are not exactly flocking to the industry (yet – but it has begun). So in the meantime, it’s up to the drug dealers and former black market folks to battle it out. Unfortunately, the more unsavory businesspeople often come equipped with deeper pockets, and deep pockets are the only thing that can survive the steep overhead startup costs and legal roadblocks. 2012’s Initiative 502 was not exactly written to keep the smaller Mom & Pop shops in business (born broken, as I think of it). Yes, I know that is an understatement.

All of this is to say that the Morgans are very much the third category, exactly the kind of people that you’d WANT to be running legal cannabis access points. They are family-oriented people with a track record of integrity. They’re the epitome of a Tri-Citian and Washingtonian, complete with Seahawks pride. They’re actually responsible enough and good enough to be entrusted with the area’s only legal cannabis access point (the next closest legal store is 35 miles away).

And that makes their situation even more exasperating.

“We want to work with the City but the City will not work with us,” Shilo explains.

Speaking of, now that you know who Shilo and David are and what they’re about, let’s talk about their business situation.

Objective 2: Understanding the Current Situation

The Morgans have been working on opening a retail store since 2013.

They first received pre-approval with the WSLCB for a location in downtown Pasco near the Pasco Farmer’s Market that met all zoning requirements and spent about $4,000 securing it. It was near a small run-down park that they confirmed did not interfere with their zoning requirements under the I-502 law. Several weeks later, the WSLCB was notified that Peanuts Park would be renovated (for about two million dollars) which would then apply the 1000ft rule to Lucky Leaf. To give you perspective, this is the rough downtown area of Pasco where prostitution, crack, and meth use are known to occur. It is undeniably a seedy and probably dangerous area of the Tri-Cities. And just months after the Morgans forfeited their original location, a head shop selling pipes and paraphernalia was opened across the street. Who knows.

“It was probably for the best,” Shilo says, “It wasn’t a very safe spot.”

I agree with Shilo; their new location is much better and safer. After an extensive review and some discussions with the mayor and county commissioner, Shilo and David went to the boonies and settled on a location near the King City Truck Stop. There is quite literally nothing out there besides the truck stop, an adult store, a Burger King, some industrial buildings, and a bunch of fields. No houses, schools, or civilization to speak of. Half a mile down the road, BUDS Pasco, an LCB-licensed Tier II producer, had been operating since 2013. BUDS closed its doors last week, but for unrelated reasons.

By this time, summer 2015, Morgans had been licensed by the LCB but still could not obtain a business license from the City of Pasco; in fact, the city refused to process their application. THREE TIMES.

“David has gone down to the City three different times to apply for a business license and no one in the office would even take the paperwork out of his hands. The least they could do is take our $75 and deny us our application. The city’s Community & Economic Development director looked David in the eye and said ‘nope,’ refusing to take the business license application out of his hands.”

“They knew that if they were to deny our license, we could appeal it.” Shilo said.

So having been thrice denied the opportunity to even apply for a business license by the City of Pasco, and because another legal cannabis business was allowed to operate nearby, Lucky Leaf opened without a city license on July 25.

That’s precisely what the City of Pasco was waiting for. A temporary restraining order was filed on August 19th against Lucky Leaf for operating without a business license. Judge Ekstrom granted an injunction on August 24th to keep Lucky Leaf closed pending further court reviews.

And remember the finger-jabbing city attorney? Shilo says that appearances aren’t everything. At that injunction hearing I wrote about in August, it seems that City of Pasco Attorney Kerr was just putting on a show, ostensibly to demonstrate the City of Pasco’s views on things. When he’s not arguing for City of Pasco to keep legal cannabis banned, he is approving conditional use permits for a cannabis store in Walla Walla. Yes, that’s right. Same attorney helping other cities open stores.

I know this doesn’t add up, but I’m not omniscient, and don’t pretend to understand the motivations of key players in this case, so moving right along.

Despite everything, it seems that Kerr was impressed with how the Lucky Leaf supporters behaved in the courtroom.

“Lee Kerr says the nicest things about us and our supporters,” Shilo said, after having run into him at a Seahawks game and having a pleasant exchange. 

“Kerr complimented the Lucky Leaf supporters at the injunction. Our supporters zipped it, kept things quiet and respectful, and the court was impressed by their good behavior.” She explained Kerr’s positive attitude toward herself and David.

Now, the Morgans are awaiting their next court hearing in Spokane, but because they were denied a re-hearing, they are still forced to keep their doors closed and are losing an estimated $8k-10k a day in revenue, not to mention the inventory left to stale on their shelves.

Going back to the conditional use permits approved in Walla Walla.

The Morgans’ team carefully reviewed the Walla Walla resolution and wrote a settlement proposal to the City of Pasco using similar wording to that Walla Walla resolution (which was written by Kerr) allowing conditional use permits for a limited number of retail stores. The Morgans’ legal team submitted their proposal to the City on August 28. Not surprisingly, city attorney Kerr liked it. Kerr seems to realize that legalization is inevitable, and is actively helping other cities open stores. And he apparently likes the Morgans well enough. He liked their proposed resolution with the City of Pasco. So, we deduce that City of Pasco’s attorney, then, is willing to work with the Morgans to settle and allow their store to open in a controlled fashion.

Then Rick White, Community & Economic Development Director, saw the settlement proposal and said “Absolutely not.” And that’s where it died.

Hold the phone… if the city attorney is willing to work with the Morgans, as well as two members of the Pasco City Council, and the Mayor, then who exactly is opposing legal cannabis access?

Shilo deduces that the only opponents appear to be Rick White and four city council members. That’s it. It makes you wonder, where do Mr. White and the opposing city council members get their information? Are they qualified to make this decision for you? Take this as a lesson to pay closer attention to what’s happening in local elections. I certainly have. 

“It’s not just about us or Lucky Leaf at this point, it’s bigger than that.” – Shilo.

Objective 3: Who is affected?

“I go to check the store’s voicemail and there are so many messages going ‘Well FUCK!’ ‘Goddamn city of Pasco’ ‘Well shit, what am I going to do now?’” – Shilo

I ask Shilo if she saves the voicemails ; she says she wants to, but the voicemail fills up so quickly that she has to delete them.

“I feel so bad for our customers,” says Shilo. “We’ve kept quiet because our attorneys told us to keep quiet until our rehearing. When we got the news that our rehearing was denied, I have decided I am not keeping quiet anymore because it’s not getting anywhere.”

Shilo and David reviewed the birth dates of their customers and found that the majority of their customers are 41-65 years old.

This is also true of most other retail stores. Customers like to talk about the “glory days” of smoking pot in the 60’s and come in because they have money, don’t have black market hookups or don’t want to buy black market, and are looking for some therapeutic help. They want to feel young again. They’re looking for pain relief. Anxiety relief. Depression relief. Restful sleep. Couples looking to reconnect with each other. The primary recreational customers are not young troublemakers but middle aged and elderly people just wanting to feel better.

Remember the medical system is being rolled into the recreational (the two will be fully merged in 2016), so without access to recreational stores, there IS no access.

In Clarkston, WA a case very similar to Lucky Leaf’s has been unfolding. On 9/18, Greenfield Company and Canna4Life both reopened after an injunction was halted and criminal charges dropped against the owners.

Shilo and David’s case is very similar to the Clarkston case, except that Shilo and David haven’t been charged with any criminal activity like the stores in Clarkston. My sources tell me that there are consequences; most of the Clarkston City Council is on their way out the door because of this whole debacle.

The stores are currently allowed to operate per court ruling despite the city’s objections. Had this case been decided before Lucky Leaf’s injunction hearing, the outcome might have been different. However the re-hearing has already been denied.

Objective 4. Call To Action!

If you read all the way to the end, then it is precisely YOU who Shilo and I are writing to, and it is you who can make a difference! Let’s tell the city what’s up, but let’s do it together with kindness. [If you must rant, I understand; email it to me and I’ll translate it and send it on. ;)] The only way we are going to make a dent in the stigma is to MODEL the change we want to see in the world. We have to remember that people still live in fear of this plant. That fear is very real and we have to treat it with respect and love.

There is freedom waiting for you

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask, “What if I fall?”

Oh, but my darling, what if you FLY?

– Erin Hanson

So here are some suggestions to choose from:

  1. Pasco city council is creating a public survey and one of the questions that might be on the survey is whether or not people think the ban is good for our city. Write to the Pasco City Council here and let them know that you’d like the cannabis ban question on the survey. Keep in mind that anything you send to the city becomes public record.
  2. Write to the Pasco City Council directly and let them know whether or not you support Ordinance 4166 banning cannabis. Here are the key players to copy on your letter and keep in mind this may be public record. Depends on how much time you have, but it’s not a crazy idea to copy your response to all of them.
  3. Attend City Council Meetings. Here are links to the local cities.
    1. Richland, First and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30pm
    2. Kennewick, Every other Tuesday at 6:30pm
    3. Pasco. Mondays at 7:00pm
    4. West Richland, First and third Tuesday of every month at 7:00
    5. Benton City – The City Council meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  4. Sign Change.Org petition to lift Pasco’s Cannabis BanOrdinance 4166.
  5. Tell your story! One of the most powerful things you can do is to speak your deepest truth. Do you have a story? I want to help you tell it. Submit yours to or to discuss an interview. Be sure to include how you’d like to be signed. I won’t ask you to show our face or use your real name. [At least not this time.]

Source: Shilo Morgan on Family, Community, and Cannabis in the Tri-Cities WA | anonalyss

Lucky Leaf marijuana store to remain closed pending another hearing | Tri-City Herald

Pasco’s only marijuana retailer, shut down less than a week ago by city officials, will remain closed for the time being after a Franklin Superior Court judge ruled the city has the right to prohibit such businesses while the case winds through the courts.

About 20 people supporting David and Shilo Morgan, owners of Lucky Leaf, filled the courtroom during a preliminary hearing, many wearing green clothing or green-beaded necklaces.

The Morgans’ attorneys agreed that the couple operated the store without a business license from the city, but the city wouldn’t allow them to file for one, limiting their options, and they had otherwise followed all the protocols required to run a licensed marijuana retail store.

While the city has banned all marijuana businesses, the state’s marijuana law, recently revised by Legislature, no longer provides cities the same authority to ban marijuana retailers, they said.

“If (the revised law) hadn’t come into place, we wouldn’t be standing here,” said attorney Nicolas Vieth.

City attorney Leland Kerr said it’s the obligation of everyone to follow the law and the Morgans were frequently warned of the consequences if they opened their shop.

“Mr. Morgan ignored all of that and instead forged ahead,” Kerr said.

Judge Alex Ekstrom noted that a full decision would come in a future hearing and that it isn’t his job to make a policy decision.

However, language in the law indicates that cities still have the authority to prohibit marijuana businesses, he said, and extended the temporary restraining order to keep the shop from serving customers.

“The jurisdiction retains its police power even after the state provides a license,” Ekstrom said.

Lucky Leaf, located in the King City neighborhood in northeast Pasco, opened its doors on July 25. The store received its state license July 9 from what’s now the state Liquor and Cannabis Board after trying two other locations in Pasco.

The Morgans considered other locations, but settled on outlying King City to be far away from exclusion zones identified by the city. City officials forced the store to close on Aug. 19.

Along with arguing that revised state law no longer permits cities to ban marijuana retailers, Pasco officials also failed to show how the business would damage the city and ignored other remedies, such as fining the business if it remained open, the Morgans’ attorneys said.

“If the city wants to fine them $250 a day, go ahead,” said attorney John Ziobro.

State law is clear that cities have the right to ban all types of marijuana businesses, Kerr said, adding that language that would have prevented that was struck from the amended law before it was changed by the Legislature.

The city sees the matter as a health and safety risk, Kerr said, noting that marijuana contributes significantly to the occurrence of crime and violence, and that allowing Lucky Leaf to continue operating threatens to upset law and order.

“If you open this door for a period of time, the city is helpless to stop others from doing the same,” Kerr said.

The section of the revised state law describing how tax revenues would be distributed to cities and counties, except to those that ban marijuana growers, processors and retailers within their borders, indicates the state never intended the law to stop cities from banning retail businesses, Ekstrom said.

The Morgans and their attorneys declined comment following the hearing. They and the city are due back in court next week.

Source: Lucky Leaf marijuana store to remain closed pending another hearing | Tri-City Herald

Lucky Leaf Forced To Remain Closed

Today a judge issues a preliminary injunction forcing the Lucky Leaf marijuana shop in Pasco to close down until this entire case is heard.

Last week a temporary restraining order was placed on the business until the hearing today.

Now the only recreational marijuana shop in Pasco is closed until further notice.

Before the hearing at the Franklin County Court House dozens of Lucky Leaf supporters turned out to show their support for the business.

All of them saying they wish the Pasco city council will re-consider the ban on recreational marijuana businesses.

Retail recreational marijuana advocate Jebidiah Haney said bans like the one in Pasco are hurting small business owners across Washington state.

“We have individuals taking risks in order to help drive revenues to already defaulted budget so while we have people taking these risks in an unstable business environment, we have local ordinances that are stifling their success for no founded reasons,” said Haney. 

The Pasco city attorney and the attorneys for Lucky Leaf will be back in court next week to present findings to the judge.

The group of Lucky Leaf supports plans on attending the Paco city council meeting tonight at 7 o’clock.

Source: Lucky Leaf Forced To Remain Closed

Lucky Leaf, Marijuana Retail Shop in Pasco, Remains Closed – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PASCO, WA-  Monday afternoon the city of Pasco took on Lucky Leaf, the retail marijuana store that opened its doors in the city last month, but it still remains closed.

After more than an hour of talks from both parties, Lucky Leaf remains closed for now.

The city attorney argued that the city’s ordinance does not allow this shop to operate.  Lucky Leaf’s attorneys then talked about House Bill 2136, which went into effect July 1st.  They argued that the bill makes the city’s ordinance invalid.   That bill clarifies what a public space is, allows cities to have more flexibility on how close shops can be from certain places, and provides revenue sharing between cities and counties.

For now, things remain the same.

“The question is, can you read that between the lines?  Can you deduce the intent of the legislature to really prohibit a ban.  Our position is, obviously not,” said Leland Kerr, Pasco City Attorney.

“They could’ve filed this lawsuit before they opened, but for purposes of injunctive relief, which is what they’re here for, the city is in no better position than my client because they’re not following their own code,” said Lucky Leaf attorneys.

The judge granted a preliminary injunction, which means the dispute is on hold to give both parties more time to beef up their arguments.  They will have until Monday to present those findings.

Source: Lucky Leaf, Marijuana Retail Shop in Pasco, Remains Closed – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pasco Marijuana Shop Remains Open, City Plans to Take Action – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PASCO, WA- The Lucky Leaf officially opened their retail marijuana shop in Pasco on Saturday despite the city’s ban.

Since the legalization of recreational marijuana, many cities decided to ban the sale of it, but some stores opened anyway.  The Lucky Leaf officially opened Saturday and there were still a lot of worries for the shop.  The doors opened again Monday morning, but they were not sure how the future will look.

Their opening Saturday seemed very quiet, until the word started to spread.  On the third day of business for Lucky Leaf, the shop got a little busier.  One customer in the shop said he was happy it opened in Pasco.  He said he would not have to travel to Prosser to go to the Altitude shop anymore because the one in Pasco is a lot closer to him.

“This makes it lot easier for us individuals that voted for the law to get what the law stated that we could do,” said the customer.

The owners and managers agreed.  On opening day, they were extremely nervous, but they said after they heard feedback from customers, they felt a little better.

“The customer response has been very positive.  Everyone’s so thankful to have somewhere to come to.  We’re very excited to be open and doing what these guys have been striving for a very long time,” said Christy McNeeley, manager.

The City of Pasco said they are well aware of that the shop has opened.

“Since this is kind of a high profile issue, we will certainly not let this slip.  We will make sure he is aware of the consequences and go from there.  We want to try to resolve the problem rather than making it worse,” said Rick White, City of Pasco Community Developer Director.

The City of Pasco will talk with the city attorney to figure the steps they need to take in order to shut the shop down.  The city said it will not happen overnight.  White said it could take weeks for something to happen, but for now, the shop plans to stay open.

“I don’t know how this goes.  I don’t know how it’s going to play out at this point and that’s kind of where we’re at right now,” said Shilo Morgan, Lucky Leaf owner.

The managers hope their petition with more than 200 signatures as of Monday, will help keep them open. Lucky Leaf is located at 3411 N. Capital Avenue in Pasco.  For more information and hours, click their Facebook Page.

Source: Pasco Marijuana Shop Remains Open, City Plans to Take Action – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Clarkston Canna4life shop invites voters to come look at new shop | Local & Regional | KLEW CBS 3 – News, Weather and Sports – Lewiston, ID

CLARKSTON, WA – There’s a ban on the sale of recreational marijuana in Clarkston, but that didn’t stop Kelly Jackson from inviting people to check out the city’s first pot shop (Friday) today.

“This is not a grand opening,” said Kelly Jackson, Canna4Life owner. “This is an open house for the voters to have a chance to come, look and see what they voted for.”

In November of 2014 city council voted to ban the production, processing and sales of recreational marijuana within city limits. That didn’t stop people from lining up outside Canna4Life, before the doors opened at 11:00AM. Jackson is selling both recreation and medical marijuana. Tracy Lewis was the first customer to walk away with pot merchandise from the store. She told us she’s been suffering from chronic pain for years.

“I really would like to get off the narcotic pain medication,” said Tracy Lewis.

She got an elixir to go in her tea. She said she still hasn’t spoken with her doctor about replacing the narcotic medication with marijuana, but she’ll bring it in to her next appointment.

“I hope that he feels like I can go on forward with it to cut me back of medications, and see if it works, and hopefully it works for me,” said Lewis. “I have just been trying to deal with pain issues.”

Robert Vernon is a pot grower from Elk, Washington. He brought some of the merchandise sold in Jackson’s shop Friday.

“We met up in Spokane at one of the other retailers, and they were saying that they were having some trouble here; getting stuff opened, and I wanted to show my support by bringing marijuana, so that the people in Clarkston can enjoy it,” said Vernon.

Cana4Life is licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to sell marijuana. Jackson says by opening his doors so people can see how a state-regulated marijuana store operates.

“Come and look at it; see how safe it is, see how it keeps marijuana off the street, see how much tax revenue can be created,” said Jackson. “The economic benefits are great.”

Jackson said he plans on opening the shop again on Saturday from 11:00a.m. to 8:00p.m. He also said if city council allows them to stay open then maybe will extend store hours.

Source: Clarkston Canna4life shop invites voters to come look at new shop | Local & Regional | KLEW CBS 3 – News, Weather and Sports – Lewiston, ID

Benton County to consider ban on new retail marijuana stores | State News |

The future of marijuana businesses in the Tri-Cities is looking a bit hazy — Benton County, which has allowed recreational marijuana businesses, is considering a moratorium on new retail stores.

The county is one of the few government entities in the area to authorize the production, processing or sale of recreational pot, though it has already placed a temporary ban on new production facilities.

Commissioner Shon Small said at last week’s meeting that the county initially took the advice of prosecutors and decided to observe while other counties and cities put in moratoriums.

But Small now wants to take a stand against it because many people oppose the stores, he said.

Commissioners are expected to discuss the issue today, when Commissioner Jerome Delvin is expected back.

“After all, the attorney general did say we can say no to selling it, and we wouldn’t get sued,” Small told the Herald.

The discussion comes at a time when a Finley medical marijuana dispensary switched in August from being a delivery service to having a walk-in facility, boasting that it’s just five minutes from the cable bridge.

Jennifer Goulet, an employee at Green2Go Collective Gardens, said the facility applied Oct. 12 for a recreational marijuana retail license, on the first day a second round of applications became available with the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Finley business looks a bit like a medical office, with a waiting room featuring a fireplace and TV. But the television provides information about medical marijuana and a menu board shows a variety of cannabis strains, like Black Betty, Obama Kush and White Russian.

A tarp blocks off an entrance to an adjoining room, where a “glass shop” is being built as part of the transition to a recreational store. It will sell pipes, bongs, rolling papers and other items more associated with recreational marijuana use, Goulet said.

“We’ve got a lot of patients who are very excited for that to happen,” she said.

Green2Go shifted to a walk-in facility and is now seeking to become a retail store because state law will change July 1, 2016, merging recreational and medical marijuana programs.

It plans to continue to sell items for medical use, Goulet said, including candy bars and drinks with cannabidiol, which has medical uses without the hallucinogenic properties of THC.

People who are registered with a state Department of Health database will be able to buy medical marijuana products without paying the 37 percent recreational tax, Goulet said. Recreational buyers would have to pay the tax.

Green2Go should be grandfathered to sell recreational marijuana if the county law changes, Goulet said.

“It shouldn’t be (impacted),” she said. “We are already here. We are in an area that is zoned for it to be legal.”

Green2Go would be the first recreational store in the eastern part of Benton County, Goulet said. Two stores are now in the Prosser area — Altitude, which opened as the first recreational marijuana store in the Mid-Columbia in July 2014, and The Bake Shop, which opened last month in an unincorporated area west of Prosser.

Meanwhile, Lucky Leaf, which was shut down in August by Pasco officials, has a Nov. 4 state appeals court date in Spokane, said the store’s owner, David Morgan.

Franklin Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled that the city has a right to prohibit such businesses while the case winds through the court system.

Luck Leaf opened in July in the King City area, despite Pasco’s ban on such stores.

Morgan plans to use a similar argument to the one used by Clarkston marijuana stores, which appeals court Commissioner Monica Wasson recently ruled can stay open during the legal process, he said.

But Morgan also hopes to get the city to find a solution to the stalemate. He recently submitted a letter to the city, which he says was rejected, asking it to grant him a yearly conditional use permit.

Walla Walla offers two such permits to recreational marijuana retailers, collecting $1,500 annually from each, he said. Morgan offered to pay $5,000 per year for the permit, much more than the Walla Walla stores.

Morgan also disputed claims that local governments wouldn’t get much from marijuana excise taxes, which the state recently changed the law to allow them to collect money from. If Pasco had two retailers, it could expect to collect $133,200 in taxes for the city, basing the numbers off what six retailers in Vancouver, Wash., bring in, he said.

Morgan attended the Kennewick City Council’s workshop meeting last week. The council discussed a possible ban on “nuisance” outdoor medical marijuana grows, which can be seen or smelled from other properties.

Morgan was interested in comments made a week earlier by Kennewick Councilman Bob Parks, who suggested legal marijuana sales could help prevent such outdoor growing. Like Pasco, recreational marijuana stores are banned in the Kennewick city limits.

The lifting of Kennewick’s ban could mean Morgan would be able to transfer his state license there, or get Pasco to take a second look at its ban, he said.

“It seems like when one city’s on board, the other two get on board,” he said

Source: Benton County to consider ban on new retail marijuana stores | State News |

Washington Marijuana Business Owners Defying Local Bans | Ganjapreneur

In 2012, when Washington state voters legalized recreational cannabis, it was witnessed around the world as a landmark voter initiative. What followed was a long 19 months of rule making and lottery drawings to establish a regulated cannabis market. In July, 2014 the first legal marijuana sales began, but not every locality was open to the new law.

Between 2012-2014, one quarter of Washington towns and cities had adopted moratoriums on recreational marijuana businesses, according to the Huffington Post. The Washington Attorney General later issued an opinion stating the bans were permissible under state law, and more cities and counties have issued bans. The courts themselves have been inconsistent settling the legality of such bans. Despite these setbacks, some brave Washington business owners have decided to open their doors anyway.

The first of these ganjapreneurs to defy a local ban was Golden Dispensaries in Goldendale. The new shop opened shortly after receiving its license to operate from the Liquor and Cannabis Board on October 4, 2014. A defiant Richard Ellis alerted the city before he opened his doors. “Since we’ve opened we haven’t had any trouble except for a local church, and some of the city council.” The mayor has asked local police to leave the shop alone, Ellis says. After threatening a lawsuit, Golden Dispensaries was eventually issued a business license. They are still open today.

In Parkland — which falls under a moratorium in unincorporated Pierce County — the unique concept of an art gallery and a cannabis retail shop called The Gallery opened on March 1, 2015. Three days later the county quickly issued a notice for the shop to close. Owner Ted Weatherby refused, telling the Tacoma News Tribune he believes the notion is a “waste of taxpayer money and effort,” and that he hopes the county comes to their senses. The Gallery also remains open to this day.

The town of Clarkston issued its marijuana business ban in 2014. On Halloween that year, an attorney for Canna4Life — dressed as a Jedi — filed a lawsuit against the city and four city council members asking a judge to overturn the ban. The judge — potentially dressed as a Sith Lord — upheld the ban. Finding no relief from the courts, business owner Kelly Jackson opened the doors of Canna4Life on May 29, 2015. He was shut down a week later. Following the closure, a judge ruled in favor of the city, granting a temporary restraining order on the business. The city contends it is well within its rights to keep the shop closed. Their next hearing is on August 4th.

Dave’s Place opened on June 9th, 2015 in defiance of a ban in Sunnyside. Dave Rand’s shop was shut down the next day, due to the lack of a certificate of occupancy. The city manager Don Day told KIMA News, “There were some stipulations that needed to be met and those were never met so he doesn’t have any kind of a business license.” Dave has filed a lawsuit against the city to reopen his doors. He is currently upgrading the property in the hopes the city will grant him a business license when it is up to code.

On June 19, 2015 a cannabis retail shop opened in Yakima, ignoring a ban on recreational marijuana businesses within city limits. That same day a judge issued a show cause order, which prevented the city from closing the store. Jaime Campos told the Yakima Herald he is expressing his entrepreneurial spirit by opening his shop, Happy Time, where he previously ran a daycare with his wife. He wasn’t given long to express this spirit, however: on Monday, June 22, after “weighing their legal options,” the city took action and shut the shop down. Joe Caruso, the city Code Administration Manager, told the Yakima Herald that the order was not an injunction and that no legal barriers prevented the city from shutting down the shop. On June 26th, a judge sided with the city, and ordered the shop remain closed.

The latest recreational marijuana store to open despite a city ban is in PascoWAThe Lucky Leaf, owned by David Morgan, opened at the end of July. He was granted a license by the WA Liquor and Cannabis Board on July 9th, but first applied for a license in late 2013. Morgan tells the Tri-City Herald he is finally opening after the state passed a law which allows cities to share more in marijuana tax revenue. He cites this as the city’s reason for banning the shops in July 2014. He tells the Herald, “We’re hoping that they’ll change their zoning and grant us a license so we can help the city get their share of tax revenue.” It is reported the city plans to take action against the shop. However, to date the Lucky Leaf is still open with no news from the city about what action they will take.

Recent legislation aimed at reconciling issues with Washington’s marijuana marketplace could offer relief to these business owners. As part of the legislation, language was removed from the state’s marijuana laws to require that the question of marijuana bans be put to local voters, not local governments. For now, however, many recreational cannabis businesses are still unable to open across the state.

Source: Washington Marijuana Business Owners Defying Local Bans | Ganjapreneur

What Allowed Pot Store to Open in Pasco, Despite Ban?

The store owners, according to our news partner KNDU-TV, are a little nervous, but business began to “bloom” at a new Pasco pot store that opened Saturday.

But the question is: why did Pasco City officials allow the Lucky Leaf, located at 3411 North Capitol, to open in the first place?

Regardless of one’s stance on legalized marijuana,  the City of Pasco, like Richland and Kennewick, have adopted bans that prohibit the growth, processing and sale (and any other related activities) of marijuana.

The reason, as we have said in the past, for these bans is because of the language of I-502. Ever since Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued his non-binding legal opinion nearly two years ago, cities and counties have reacted to the voices in their communities and put bans in place.  Ferguson was asked by several city councils to see if the language in I-502 prevented them from putting their own bans despite it’s passing. Ferguson said they could, and he believed it would stand up in court.  It has held up at least four times, including a recent case in Kennewick.

Despite the screams of protest from pro-pot advocates, 18 of 22 Eastern Washington counties soundly defeated I-502, by as much as a 60% margin in counties such as Grant.

But the real question is, how did this one slip through the city cracks?  It’s usually common practice for city officials, or even the city council, to review business applications on a regular basis to see what kind of shops and stores people with to open in their community.  In Kittitas County, officials learned of a potential pot store last year by reviewing the business license application.  There was already a ban in place, and they informed the store owner it wasn’t going to happen. Officials refused to grant the business license, meaning the frustrated owner couldn’t legally open the store.

Pasco officials say they are aware of the store, and will begin the process with the city attorney to get it shut down. But that may take weeks, and in the meantime, Lucky Leaf intends to stay open. The managers say they have a petition to the city with more than 200 signatures asking for the store to stay open. Officials have said nothing about the business license issue.

We will continue to update as this situation develops.

Source: What Allowed Pot Store to Open in Pasco, Despite Ban?