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No pot store likely to happen in Montesano

Montesano is not likely to be the next home of a recreational pot store. The only applicant that really stood a chance notified the city that he was backing off from his proposal to place a store at Monte Square. Joshua Miller told the city in a letter on Jan. 19 that he was, instead, considering placing a facility at Brady. The county does not have a moratorium on marijuana and is actively working on a plan for the placement of proposed retail outlets.

“I’m sorry for all of the trouble which I have put you, and the council, as well as the clerks through to try and convince you all that Montesano would be a good site for this store,” Miller wrote. “… It is my opinion that the community of Montesano is not yet ready for this type of progressive thinking and if they would rather drive out of town to buy their marijuana legally or down the street to the illegal dealers, who am I to try to stop them? I mean no disrespect to the community to the city by that last statement. Montesano is still a very conservative town and I can respect their wishes to keep this type of business outside of their neighborhood.”

The Montesano City Council is one of the only cities on the Harbor that never set up a moratorium banning the placement of marijuana facilities. Council members have said that applicants just need to follow the state Liquor Control Board’s rules. In this case, the only real feasible place for a marijuana outlet in the city that is not within 1,000 feet of parks, day cares, schools or transit centers is on the outskirts of town near the Mary’s River Lumber facility. Miller had tried to argue that his proposed placement of a retail outlet at Monte Square was a legal use of the requirements.

But city officials argued that a strip of land across the street where youth soccer plays is considered a park, plus the property line is still within 1,000 feet of Fleet Park.

Another proposed store on Marcy in downtown Montesano is also too close to Fleet Park.

“I would suggest that even though the Montesano city limits will not be harboring any marijuana businesses, they should consider adopting some penalties for smoking or consuming the substance publicly as prescribed by the state,” Miller wrote. “I may be a pot head, but even I agree there have to be limitations and our future generations should be sheltered as well as protected from all adult activities.”