Benton county commissioners urge state to shut down West Richland pot shop
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. — Benton County Commissioners continue to take action against a marijuana dispensary opening in West Richland.
Citizens expressed concern that the Nirvana Cannabis shop is down the street from a preschool, and church. It is also located across the street from school bus stop and in the heart of a residential area along Arena Road.
On Tuesday, commissioners sent a letter to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) saying in part that the shop is not in the best interest of the welfare, health and safety of the people and it should not be allowed to operate based off the proximity to the other locations nearby.
For months residents have been spoken out against the new shop’s location in West Richland to commissioners, compiling evidence of where the shop did not follow state law. Since July the group has also generated a petition against against the shop.
Commissioners stated in their letter to the WSLCB that based off the findings and photographic evidence they believe the shop did not properly display its license application, which is required by law to give the public notice.
They also added in their letter that they found other numerous inconsistencies and issues in the original license application submitted by the Spokane based company owners The Garden LLC.
Citizens say the letter is a step in the right direction. “To have it stopped or not opened would be a huge relief, my kids get on the bus every day in front of that store,” West Richland resident Teresa France said.
Others in favor of the new shop took to Facebook over the past few months expressing their excitement for the store.
Even though the letter addresses the larger community concern, some residents say the wording in the letter isn’t strong enough to make state legislatures stop the license renewal.
Specifically, citizens are referring to the second to last paragraph of the document where commissioners say, to revoke the license “if,” the shop is not compliant with state law.
Residents said this implies that commissioners don’t believe that the Nirvana Cannabis shop owners haven’t already broken the law, and therefore the WSLCB will be less inclined to close down the operation.
The new shop originally had 90 days to meet all building codes to renew its license, but now the commissioners letter to the state board may push that back.
We reached out to the shop’s lawyers and have not heard back
We will continue to follow this story until a final decision is made.