Hoquiam City Council split 6-6, declines Marijuana zoning ordinance

The clouds almost parted over Hoquiam’s moratorium on marijuana businesses last night, as the city council adopted their revised zoning ordinance that would have allowed state licensed stores in some areas on a close 7-5 vote. But then they rejected revisions to their business licensing ordinance voting 6-6 against it – making it briefly legal to locate a store in some zones, but illegal to get a business license for a marijuana business.
Mayor Jack Durney said after that vote “OK friends we’ll think about that huh? Kind of a contradiction in terms if we change our zoning but then we say we’re not going to license them.”
City Attorney Steven Johnson explained “Our ordinance says that we cannot issue a business license if it violates federal law. By not passing this [and passing the other] they’re legally zoned, but we can’t issue a business license.”
After councilwoman Kay Diehm said she was unclear on the issue, the council reconsidered the original vote and failed to pass it’s marijuana zoning ordinance 6-6 against.
It took Mayor Durney to break that same tie on another vote to send the ordinance back to the public works committee “I don’t think we should have a moral discussion about this at this point. I think we need to deal with what the public has told us to do.”
The council will revisit the same ordinance, with one line omitted that would have made medical marijuana collective gardens not only illegal in city limits, but also a public nuisance and subject to abatement by the city.
Councilman Paul McMillan said the change wouldn’t sway his opinion on the matter, and felt that Hoquiam should wait for Colorado to pioneer the issue before challenging federal law.
Councils John Pellegrini, Kay Diehm, Greg Grund, Paul McMillan, Darrin Moir and Bill Nelson all voted against allowing recreational marijuana businesses in Hoquiam.

Two suspects at large after armed robbery of medical marijuana collective garden in Oakville

Two suspects remain at large, after the armed robbery of of a medical marijuana collective garden in Oakville this morning. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department tells KBKW this morning at approximately 9:13 am, the owner of Green Harbour Medical Marijuana Co-Op in Oakville reported being robbed by two men wearing ski masks.  The owner advised that he had just opened for business when the two men came up behind him and stuck something in his back.  The owner believed the object was possibly a gun however never did see a firearm.  The suspects then ordered the owner to retrieve money and marijuana products from the safe.  The suspects fled the business heading northbound on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana products.  The owner was not injured.

Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department with searching the area.  Those agencies included Chehalis Tribal Police, Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, WSP, and Elma PD.  A Thurston County K-9 unit was also called in to assist with a track of the suspects but was unable to develop a track.  The Oakville School was also locked down as a precautionary measure.

At this point, a search of the area was completed however investigators were not able to locate the suspects.  Investigators are still on scene attempting to develop additional suspect information.  Given the nature of the business, we believe the suspects specifically targeted this business.  As always, anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Grays Harbor Communications Center at 360-533-8765 or the Sheriff’s Department at 360-249-3711.

Hoquiam extends moratorium on marijuana – public hearing planned, not scheduled

The City of Hoquiam last night again extended their moratorium on medical Marijuana collective gardens, as well as a 6 month hold on the processing, production, or retail of the substance. Councilman Paul McMillain said it was only a technicality of sorts “We need to extend it, our other ordinance is going to end at the end of this month and we do not have anything ready.”
The council first enacted a moratorium on the dispensaries in April of 2011, adopting extensions every 6 months since, with plans to develop zoning regulations to accommodate both business models.
The council took a step in that direction last night, referring both matters to the Land Use Hearing Examiner to hold a public hearing on zoning regulations, details on that meeting are pending.
At their last meeting in January, the council adopted a planning commission report recommending they place all marijuana related businesses in the city’s industrial zone, with an amendment suggested by McMillain that the city not authorize any activity until it is federally legal.

Hoquiam Stymies Medical Marijuana Dispensory

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam City Council has voted to adopt an emergency ordinance establishing a moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Mayor Jack Durney tells us if proposed actions at the State-level were to allow the Dispensaries, cities can impose a 6 month moratorium in order to address zoning issues.
City Attorney Steve Johnson told the council that someone who currently operates several of the Dispensaries had contacted a property owner about renting space to open one on Hoquiam.
Senate Bill 5073 would establish among other things, a framework for Dispensaries to operate under license by the departments of Agriculture and Health.

Hoquiam City Council to Vote on “Not Yet” Plan for Medical Marijuana

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam City Council will consider the adoption of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium at tonight’s city council meeting. Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney tells us if any proposed actions at the State-level were to allow the Dispensaries, cities have the right to impose a 6 month moratorium in order to address zoning issues and the legalities of the controversial Dispensaries. If Senate Bill 5073 does not pass in the House by tomorrow it will die, the bill would establish among other things, a framework for Dispensaries to operate under license by the departments of Agriculture and Health.

Large Bust in McCleary Was “Well Over The Limit” For Medicinal Marijuana

MCCLEARY, Wash. – Drug Task Force agents seized 127 plants, and 19 pounds of marijuana from a McCleary home, operating under the guise of a medical marijuana supplier.

At 8 o’clock yesterday morning, DTF agents with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on the home outside of McCleary – officers confiscated the plants, processed marijuana, multiple weapons, and a small amount of cash. A 33 year old McClear woman was booked for manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana, a 36 year old McCleary man was also booked for manufactuting of the drug.

Grays Harbor County Sheriffs Detective Dave Pimentel tells us the couple had two children living in the home who were not at home at the time of the raid, Pimentel said the state law they were using to grow the plants allows for 15 cannabis plants provided the patient has “valid documentation” from a physician.