Unincorporated areas of county not open to marijuana businesses

YAKIMA – There will not be any recreational marijuana businesses allowed in the unincorporated areas within Yakima County.

That’s the decision the Yakima County Commission made this past Tuesday.

The commissioners, in light of recent remarks made by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, approved a resolution that prohibits the production, processing and retail sales of recreational sales of recreational marijuana.

Ferguson last week stated there was “…no irreconcilable conflict between I-502’s licensing system and the ability of local governments to prohibit licensees from operating in their jurisdiction.”

Commissioner Rand Elliott said, “Each municipality is charged with making their own decision.”

He said the county’s ordinance will not preclude any decisions made by city governments.

Elliott noted the county only has jurisdiction outside of city limits, which means any businesses seeking licenses to sell, produce or grow marijuana outside a municipality will be prohibited from opening shop.

“We (the Yakima County commissioners) considered the issue…I voted in support of this resolution, which reflects the wishes of the voters,” said Elliott.

The voters of Yakima County cast their ballots against I-502 during the November 2012 General Election by 58 percent.

Commissioner Mike Leita said, “It is known that Yakima County and all other counties within the state of Washington have long struggled with the many harsh effects of alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal.”

He said that is one of the reasons he supported the resolution to prohibit recreational marijuana businesses in the county’s jurisdiction.

The Yakima County commissioners approved the resolution by a unanimous 3-0 vote.

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