A proposal to further restrict marijuana businesses in Hoquiam went up in smoke last night after the city council voted not to accept a report from the planning commission. A 20 minute public comment period was filled with mostly pro-business residents of Hoquiam and Aberdeen.
Kathy Sally is the applicant of a proposed marijuana store on 10th street, where she’s hoping to offer medical marijuana, she told the council, “cannabis is not about just getting high anymore, that’s a really archaic view of cannabis.” Sally’s proposed business would be next door to Channel Point Village retirement home where the city has heard concerns from several residents, employees, and family members.
The planning commission report suggested that marijuana businesses be further restricted to not within 1,000 feet from any single-family residence, retirement home, or church. A rough map of those restrictions seems to push out any possible locations, as Aberdeen resident Aaron Cane noted. “I want to encourage you to consider what forcing recreational cannabis shops into remote areas of our town means. It means that we, the city of Hoquiam, are working to minimize the potential of legal and local endeavor.”
Neighbors to a proposed store on Riverside Avenue voiced their concerns at a city council meeting in May. Kitty Thayer told the council, “I tell you I’m not happy with the city, a cannabis store going in right next door to us, less than 10 feet from my house, where we have children. And there are children in the next three houses going down Riverside. We’re upset we weren’t notified, we weren’t asked.”
Thayer said the proposed store would add to the already growing problem of transients living on the hillside behind her house, and asked that council consider the children. “We came out one sunny morning, our grandchildren out in the yard, and here comes a guy around the corner. I don’t want that, I don’t want the people next door at the pot store hanging out. I don’t want them in the parking lot where they have access to the children.”
Councilman David Wilson Sr. proposed the changes in May, which were sent to the planning commission to draft a report and make a suggestion. The council last night voted 8-2 not to accept the report, with councils David Wilson Sr. and Jeff Pellegrini voting against.