New cannabis shop sparks concern in West Richland community

Some West Richland residents were fired up over a new cannabis shop Wednesday.

The city of West Richland says the issue is out of its control, but that didn’t change the concern that many residents have been expressing.

“I still wouldn’t know about this if my neighbor didn’t come knocking on my door this morning,” West Richland resident Lisa Carpenter said.

Some of the community felt blind-sided by construction of the new shop.

Resident Lisa Carpenter is worried about the Nirvana Cannabis Company setting up its new pot shop in her West Richland neighborhood.

“My whole life is going to change because of this,” Carpenter added

The city of West Richland does not allow marijuana retail sales, production or processing.

However, the new facility set up by, “The Garden LLC,” out of Spokane is outside West Richland’s jurisdiction and is technically on Benton County land.

“We were not involved what so ever,” West Richland Public Works Community Development Director Aaron Lambert said.

The city was also left in the dark, learning about the new shop just a week ago.

“We had no knowledge of it just like the residents did not, until there was building activity on the site,” Lambert continued.

West Richland Public Works saying licensing on the project was all done through the WA State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

“Benton County is not required to notify the city of West Richland when this type of use is applied for or intends to operate,” Lambert added.

Benton County says it gave West Richland a courtesy phone call about the project when the WA State Liquor and Cannabis Board started its process.

The board is in charge, not the county.

The new spot is down the street from a church and is also 150 feet from a preschool.

“The other school bus stop is right here where everyone is standing so almost directly in front of it,” West Richland resident Lisa Carpenter said while pointing at protesters.

The city is now looking to make sure all laws are being followed and says the new shop is less than a thousand feet from a public school, which is normally required by the state.

“I’ve asked the state to look into that and they are at this time,” Lambert said.

Lisa Carpenter and other West Richland residents are just hoping for one outcome.

“I would like to see that this operation is shut down as soon as possible,” Carpenter concluded.

The new shop is being built near 4950 Arena Drive in West Richland.

The city of West Richland has filled an objection with the WA State Liquor and Cannabis Board and the county says retail marijuana establishments are allowed within certain zoning districts.