MONTESANO — A Grays Harbor marijuana land-use taskforce has begun meeting to sort out how much the county should regulate the placement of potential recreational marijuana facilities, as well as medical marijuana facilities.
County Commissioner Wes Cormier says the county may also need to figure out if the county’s agriculture areas could be used to grow marijuana, as well.
Members of the taskforce include Sabrina Craig, Dan Meldrich, Carolyn Perry, Tammy Ramsay, Jim Harrison, Ron Mullins and Gary Randall, as well as Undersheriff Dave Pimentel, Environmental Health Director Jeff Nelson and members of the county’s planning and building department.
The county has contracted with John Kliem of Creative Community Solutions to facilitate discussions.
They’ve met twice already and plan to have a website so the public can follow their progress.
Cormier said he’s attended one meeting and County Commissioner Frank Gordon planned to attend the next one.
“We’ll rotate attendance because we both find the issue fascinating,” Cormier said.
In June, the commissioners approved an emergency moratorium on not just possible recreational marijuana dispensaries, but medical marijuana operations as well. Sheriff Rick Scott requested the moratorium because he said that there was too much of a gray area and said a six-month moratorium would allow for a cooling-off period so the county can get a handle of what’s going on. He noted at least four dispensaries that could be operating in the county and some that purport to deal with medical marijuana may not be following proper rules.
He also requested other cities in the area follow suit with the same moratorium. Oakville and Elma have both approved moratoriums on both medical marijuana and recreational operations, as well.
Cormier said he wants to get rules in place before the moratorium expires.
“I don’t want to have to extend the moratorium another six months if we don’t have to,” he said. “Discussions have been going very well and I think we’re making progress.”