Marijuana growing, processing facility will no longer be built

Selway holdings pulled request because of public feedback, concerns

CARMEN JARAMILLO, Evergreen reporter

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A moratorium on new marijuana businesses is being discussed in Whitman County after Selway Holdings LLC pulled a request for rezoning this week, which would have allowed a marijuana growing and processing facility just outside Pullman city limits.

A moratorium is a temporary ban or suspension on future activities of one kind. 

Selway Holdings LLC, owner of the site at the corner of Country Club and Flat Road, requested the rezone on behalf of Dewey Scientific, the business planning to set up the marijuana farm, earlier this year.

The rezone would have changed the land from an agricultural district to a limited light industrial district.

The request was pulled Wednesday because of public feedback about health and safety concerns, Jordan Zager and Paul Mihalyov, co-founders of Dewey Scientific, said in a written statement to The Daily Evergreen.

“To demonstrate our willingness to work together, we have taken public feedback into consideration and have pulled our zone change request and have excluded commercial-scale cannabis oil extraction from our business model,” the statement read. “We are not interested in operating a large scale cannabis production.”

It is unclear what Dewey Scientific intends to do moving forward with the site. Zager said he can not comment on the future business plans of Dewey Scientific.

A meeting to discuss the possible moratorium has been set for Monday at 2:15 p.m. at the Whitman County Courthouse in Colfax,  404 N Main St., and will be open to public comment, said Art Swannack, Whitman County commissioner for District 1. 

Swannack said the meeting was set in response to public comments on the Selway Holdings rezone request.

Swannack said he supports a moratorium because he believes the county needs to do more research about the effects of marijuana businesses on the county. He said he believes there is public support for a moratorium.

This proposal would not affect marijuana businesses in the county already in operation, Swannack said, but instead would stop more businesses from opening.

Zager said he opposes the proposal.

“A moratorium could be the death knell for cannabis producers in Whitman County,” he said.