Third shop’s a charm

The Pullman-Moscow region might welcome a new marijuana shop this summer, located on State Route 27 between the two towns.

A third marijuana shop may find its way to the Palouse this summer. Scott Hensrude of Everett applied to open a new retail marijuana store at the site where the old Wawawai Canyon Winery used to be. If approved the marijuana retailer would be the third in the county, joining “MJ’s” and “We’re Just Buds” as the only places to get legal weed on the Palouse.

After the passage of I-502, each county received a certain number of shops that cities could hold, as well as a number which could be built in the county outside of any city borders.

Whitman County received four retail shops, one at large and three within the city of Pullman, said Whitman County Planner Alan Thomson.

Last year, Pullman City Council moved to place a moratorium on future development, limiting the number of retail stores within Pullman to two. However, this proposed shop would be located outside of Pullman City limits within minutes of the Idaho border on State Route 27.

The site would fill the county’s “at-large” allocation based on current Washington State Law.

This new retail shop located between Moscow and Pullman would make it accessible to residents of both cities. However, current Idaho law still maintains a felony charge with up to five years’ incarceration for possessing more than 3 ounces of marijuana. Over the border in Washington, personal use and possession of up to 40 ounces is legal.

Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant does not anticipate any problems, as both MJ’s and We’re Just Buds inside Pullman city limits have not lead to an increase in incidents.

“So far they haven’t really impacted the police department in calls for service,” he said.

The age limit to purchase marijuana is 21 and if any retail store is found to be selling to underage students they could lose their license.

“The Liquor and Cannabis board did a compliancy check and both MJ’s and We’re Just Buds passed,” Tennant said.

The county will take public comments on this proposed shop until Feb. 11 when the county will move into the next stage of review, although this doesn’t assure the shop will go through.

“We could go through the process and approve it as a county,” County Planner Alan Thomson said. “But if they don’t have the permit from the state they won’t be able to go through with it.”

While the review of this proposed retail marijuana store is in the preliminary stages, it could be as soon as weeks after the final approval from the county and an okay from the board of adjustment that construction of this retail store begins.

In addition to taking public comment Whitman County will reserve a 24-day appeal window before the final approval.