Winthrop may hear marijuana applicant’s appeal

— The Town Council is slated to set a public hearing date tonight for a hopeful marijuana retailer who would like to set up shop in the town’s industrial zone.

The applicant, Austin Lott, is appealing a determination by Zoning Administrator and Planner Rocklynn Culp that said his potential business wouldn’t be an allowed use in that area.

If Lott receives the proper business licenses, he planned to open his shop at 29 Horizon Flats Road STE 7.

The council had scheduled a hearing for April 16 to consider a proposed zoning amendment that could have made the shop legal in that location.

Instead, “What happened was Mr. Lott came in and made the case that he thought… under existing code that it should be an allowed activity,” Culp said. “There’s a use called agricultural markets that’s an allowed use in that zone.”

Her determination given to Lott backed up the Planning Commission’s recent decision to remove its recommendation from a packet of proposed zoning amendments and let the council handle it.

“Their contention was that retail activity doesn’t really have a role in the industrial zone,” Culp said. “Marijuana retail is a retail activity, and they just didn’t think it belongs in that setting. By striking any consideration of that, it essentially leaves it at status quo.”

Until the council makes its decision on Lott’s appeal, consideration of zoning issues for marijuana retail is on hold, Culp said.

There’s one other pending retail applicant in Winthrop, known only as Hamsterdam LLC. The proposed shop’s address is 303 Riverside Ave.

Culp has said there aren’t many areas within town limits that fall outside the 1,000-foot buffer required of businesses to be located away from areas where children frequent.

Meanwhile, other cities such as Bridgeport, Omak and Brewster have either approved bans on marijuana-related businesses or simply pointed to existing business ordinances that prohibit giving licenses to businesses whose operations would be illegal under local, state or federal laws.

As of last week no retail licenses had been granted by the state. Lotteries will be scheduled in counties where the number of applicants exceeds the allotted licenses.

Including Lott and Hamsterdam, there are 12 Okanogan County applicants, two of which are in Omak: 4UsRetail, 23251 state Highway 20 in Okanogan; Best Buds, 13801 state Highway 17 in Bridgeport; Green Valley Living, 50 Frontage Road in Tonasket; Jass, 2020 Main St. in Oroville; Kushington, 572 Pine St. Apt. 7 in Omak; Sage Shop, 605 Omache Drive in Omak; Simple Solutions, 1159 county Highway 7 in Tonasket; Sukhleen LLC, 2020 N. Main St. in Oroville; The Green Nugget, 210 Crumbacher Road in Tonasket; and The Roach 420, 826 state Highway 173 in Brewster.

The state will allow five retailers in Okanogan County, and one must be located in Omak.

One of three applicants in Ferry County could get a license: Mountain View Herbal, 4 Mid Mountain Road in Republic; Secret Herb Shop, 360 Highway 395 N. in Orient, and Weyzer Bud, 5 E. July St. in Danville.

Douglas County has 10 applicants, all in East Wenatchee. Only one of three licenses is earmarked for that city.

According to the applicant list on the state’s website, which is updated every Tuesday, North-Central Washington applicants have yet to receive processor or producer licenses.

Six businesses in other parts of the state have each received a producer and processor license: Kouchlock Productions of Spokane, Downtown Cannabis Company of Pacific, Nine Point Growth Industries of Bremerton, Cannaman Farms of Vancouver, 02 Sun of Benton City and Sea of Green Farms of Seattle.

There are 78 producer applications in Okanogan County, 48 in Douglas County and 11 in Ferry. For processor licenses, there are 41 Okanogan County applicants, 19 in Douglas and seven in Ferry.

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