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Local marijuana store now possible


A marijuana retail store in Grand Coulee is now possible.

The city council removed any roadblocks by a 3-2 vote last week.

The Oct. 6 vote took the words “federal law” out of the city ordinance and declared that if a business license application met state law restrictions, a license “must” be issued.

Prior to this vote, a decision on such an application had rested with the city clerk.

Although federal law does not allow marijuana sales, the U.S. attorney general has made it clear the Justice Department will not pursue prosecutions in states that have legalized the drug, including Washington.

Voting in favor of removing “federal law” from the ordinance were council members David Tylor and Erin Nielsen. Voting against the change were members Tom Poplawski and Tammara Byers. Mayor Pro Tem Paul Townsend, sitting in for Mayor Chris Christopherson, broke the tie, casting the third vote for the change.

A few weeks earlier an attempt to take “federal law” out of the ordinance failed by a 3-2 vote.

Councilmember Tylor said at the time that he would bring the issue up again. He argued that if a marijuana retail operation was legal in the state of Washington, the city should grant the license.

He reminded council members that the citizens of the state approved Initiative 502, and that citizens of Grand Coulee had voted in favor of the measure that legalized marijuana in this state.

Councilmember Tom Poplaw-ski said there still were a “lot of people out there that were saying don’t do it.”

Jean Comstock had applied for a business license to put in a marijuana retail store this summer, but had her request denied by City Clerk Carol Boyce.

A roomful of citizens had attended a council meeting at the time, urging the council to deny any application for a marijuana store business license. City officials said there were still too many questions about the issue and it would be wise to delay to see how things played out.

The council this time changed its position.

Boyce said that if Comstock applied for a business license again and paid the $60 fee, it would be granted.

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