City attorney says petition to legalize pot shops in Richland is not valid

City attorney says petition to legalize pot shops in Richland is not valid

A petition looking to legalize pot shops in Richland is invalid according to the city attorney.

Hollie Logan is the Communications Manager with the City of Richland and said the city attorney made her decision last week after further reviewing the matter.

Legalize Richland, a group trying to remove a moratorium on pot shops in city limits, says it needed a minimum of 2,650 signatures or 20 percent of number of registered voters in the last November election to challenge an ordinance that prohibits cannabis stores in the city.

In November, the group turned in a petition with almost 5,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office. The city clerk ended up validating the petition and the issue was supposed to be discussed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

However, just last week, Logan said the city attorney said the petition is not valid, as it violates a zoning code.

“They cannot change the zoning, the land used within the city through petition or Referendum,” Logan said.

Legalize Richland said they were blindsided by the decision.

“We’re not sure exactly how anyone would be able to get an issue addressed basically under that kind of structure,” Andrue Ott, the group’s chairman, said. “We’re going to challenge the city attorney’s advice to city council.”

Legalize Richland said they plan on being at Tuesday night’s city council meeting to have their voices heard. The city attorney said she also plans on giving a statement about the matter.

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