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County commissioners approve new marijuana regulations, growers threaten lawsuit

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(Photo by GoLakeChelan.com)

WENATCHEE – The future of Chelan County’s marijuana industry is now set into law as the Chelan County Commissioners unanimously voted in a new set of zoning rules that will, from here on, dictate how and where marijuana will be grown in Chelan County.

“This has not been an easy task, this has been something that, in my lifetime, I haven’t seen anything as separating of a community as what this particular topic was where you actually have neighbor against neighbor,” said Commissioner Kevin Overbay. “It’s unfortunate that we had to get to a point where the regulations had to be put in place.”

The marijuana growing industry considers its options after commissioners take action.

“Our only choice right now is litigation,” said Central Washington Growers’ Association’s Caitlein Ryan. “As the code is written, [it] is pretty wonky. There are bazaar exceptions in various different places– it’s clear they wrote it to make sure they shut down as many farms as they possibly could. That will make it easy for us in court but that’s where we’re at this point.”

Ryan added that the association’s first steps will be to stop any enforcing that is happening throughout the county. When asked if she felt there was anything more the growers and processors could have done on the issue, Ryan said she isn’t so sure.

“When we first came, the county welcomed us with open arms they said please come in and grow, we will treat you like all other agriculture, everyone followed the rules as they were set forth,” Ryan said. “I really feel like we were pretty pristine in our action here which makes these kinds of decisions so egregious.”

(By Kaitlin Hetterscheidt, courtesy of ncwlife.com)

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