City of Aberdeen looks at marijuana business zoning
The Aberdeen Planning Commission heard from residents on Wednesday night regarding possible zoning regulations for marijuana businesses.
Approximately 40 people were at the Rotary Log Pavillion last night, many of whom were either City of Aberdeen employees or those who had a vested interest in the future of the businesses. Many of those who talked were for producing and processing facilities to be in the Industrial areas, but allowing retail in the retail zones.
The City has already put in place rule regarding what zones these businesses could locate. Planning Commission Chair Brian Little explained that, currently, producers, processors, and retail marijuana stores are only allowed into the Industrial and Light Industrial areas of the City.
The question put forward last night was whether or not these businesses should be allowed in Retail areas, including Downtown Aberdeen. Leann Pugsley, who is involved in an application for a retail location along the Westport Highway, said that the City should follow the current rules until they can see the effects on the area.
Attorney Chris Crew, who has 2 retail applications under review and is holding a Licensing Seminar this week for applicants, said that keeping marijuana business out of the Retail zones would go against the legislation. He said that voters approved I-502 in order to bring the industry out of the shadows, and only allowing it to operate in the outskirts of town goes against this goal and is counterintuitive.
Planning Commission member Elaine Redner spoke, and said that she feels allowing marijuana in other zones would not bring any more issues than allowing alcohol in them.
The Planning Commission will present public comments to the City Council at their next meeting before a vote on zoning regulations will be held.