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 | yakimaherald.com

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 | yakimaherald.com

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?

City Of Pasco Seeking Temporary Restraining Order Against Lucky Leaf

The Lucky Leaf marijuana shop in Pasco has been open for almost a month now.

Now the city of Pasco is asking the superior court to issue a permanent injunction to shut down Lucky Leaf.

Tomorrow will be the first hearing between the owners of Lucky Leaf and Pasco City Attorney Lee Kerr.

At the hearing Kerr will ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against Lucky Leaf.

He said although the owner of Lucky Leaf was granted a state license for the retail sale of recreational marijuana that license is still subject to local regulations.

Kerr said along with the hearing for a temporary restraining order a judge has also set a show cause hearing for later this month.

“At that case the defendant, Lucky Leaf, and the Morgan’s will be required to come to court and show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be issued,” he said. “A preliminary injunction is a extension of a temporary restraining order it means they will be ordered by the court to not conduct business during the pendency of this action.”

Kerr said if a judge issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injection the business would be required to immediately cease and desist.

Meaning the door to Lucky Leaf could be closing as soon as tomorrow.

Source: City Of Pasco Seeking Temporary Restraining Order Against Lucky Leaf

Lucky Leaf, Marijuana Retailer in Pasco, To Appear in Court Mond – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PASCO, WA- Lucky Leaf, the marijuana retail shop that opened in July, will appear in court Monday to face the City of Pasco.

Monday, the City of Pasco takes on Lucky Leaf, the marijuana retail shop that opened in the city in July.  The City of Pasco said there is an ordinance in place that bans processors, producers, and retailers of marijuana from operating in the city.  Lucky Leaf took their chances and opened their door anyway but were shut down weeks later.  Now the shop plans to fight back.

In a memorandum by Lucky Leaf’s attorney, Nicolas V. Vieth, he said, “In the end, our clients want to cross every “t” and dot every “i.” They want to provide a secure and safe place for customers to come. They pledge to pay all their taxes and abide by all the state’s rules and regulations,” said Vieth.

The attorney said House Bill 2136, the bill that went into effect July 1st of this year, makes the city’s ordinance invalid.  The 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.

The court case starts Monday at 2:30 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse.  Lucky Leaf supporters plan to be there early to show their support.

Source: Lucky Leaf, Marijuana Retailer in Pasco, To Appear in Court Mond – NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Recreational marijuana store opens in Pasco, despite city ban | Tri-City Herald

David Morgan isn’t going to wait any longer for Pasco to allow him to operate his recreational marijuana store.

Morgan opened Lucky Leaf Saturday morning at 3411 N. Capitol Ave., despite Pasco’s ban on marijuana-related businesses that has been in place since July 2014.

Morgan pointed to a new state law that went into effect July 1 allowing local governments that allow marijuana sales to collect some of the 37-percent sales tax as a reason to open the store.

The lack of local tax revenue was cited by the city council when it placed a temporary moratorium on marijuana sales in September 2013 and later when it passed the permanent ban.

“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,” Morgan said.

City Manager Dave Zabell does not buy the argument about helping the city with taxes, since Morgan first applied for a marijuana retailer license in late 2013, long before the legislature changed the law to allow cities to share in marijuana revenue.

The city will consider fines or other enforcement actions against the store, which applied for a business license with the city and was rejected, Zabell said.

“We will be taking the next step like we would do for any other business operating without a license in the city,” Zabell said.

Morgan had not heard from anyone with the city Saturday afternoon. He had a “soft opening,” not even making an official announcement on Lucky Leaf’s Facebook page until late Saturday afternoon, with a post inviting people to “swing on by” after the Tri-City Water Follies wrap up.

“It’s a legal business in Washington state,” he said. “It should be the same here as it is in Seattle.”

No one was lined up when Lucky Leaf opened at 10 a.m., like they were when the Mid-Columbia’s first marijuana store opened in Prosser in July 2014.

The cash-only Lucky Leaf had a steady stream of customers through the day. The slow pace was fine for Morgan, who was still learning the computer system.

“I kind of wanted to get a feel for this, and make sure we are doing everything right,” he said.

Some customers signed a petition asking the city to lift its ban on marijuana businesses. All were required to have their identification scanned as they entered to prove they are at least 21 and show it again if they bought anything.

“You can look 80 years old, and you’re still going to get carded twice,” said Sergio DeLeon, one of six full-time employees at the store.

Prices average around $10 a gram, with better-quality items more expensive. They plan to sell marijuana edibles in the future, Morgan said.

Morgan’s store near the King City Truck Stop got its license July 9 from what’s now the state Liquor and Cannabis Board after trying two other locations in Pasco. He initially considered a store on Road 68, but changed to a downtown site after that was found to be too close to a video arcade. His Lewis Street location got closer to a license, but was rejected after the city notified the state that it was within 1,000 feet of Peanuts Park, a plaza near the Pasco Farmer’s Market.

“We really just want to make this work,” said Michael McNeeley, a cousin of Morgan’s wife, Shilo, and employee at the store. “We want to provide marijuana in a safe, controlled environment and provide tax revenue for the area.”

One 27-year-old Pasco woman, who asked that her name not be used, said it was a relief for Pasco to finally get a marijuana store nearly three years after Washington voters passed Initiative 502, legalizing the product.

“It’s such a miracle drug, it works for everything,” she said. “You don’t have to have colds and everything else. To live in a state where you can take that for what ails you, that’s awesome.”

State law doesn’t allow cities like Pasco that ban marijuana sales to collect taxes from its sale, but neither Morgan or Zabell knew whether Pasco would get tax money from a business operating in spite of the ban.

“That would be a great question to ask a legislator,” Zabell said.

Source: Recreational marijuana store opens in Pasco, despite city ban | Tri-City Herald