Pacific Council to consider trio of pot ordinances

At its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night at City Hall, the Pacific City Council takes the next step in the task of sorting out what the heck to do with all those marijuana stores.

Among the items on the agenda are three new ordinances that would add sections to the City's municipal code, addressing the production, processing and selling of recreational and medical marijuana.

The first of the ordinances would add chapter 5.12 to the municipal code, written to lay out the regulations for recreational businesses in the city.

The new language would work hand-in-hand with the Washington State Liquor Control Board's already-established rules for recreational businesses, including processing, production and retailing.

A second ordinance would add chapter 20.78 to the City code, requiring recreational businesses to obtain licensing from the WSLCB and the City, which would issue a business permit.

The third of the proposed ordinances would add chapter 20.79 to the City code, thus placing an outright ban on any medical marijuana businesses in Pacific.

It's this potential outcome that worries Anthony Gilbert, owner of Chronic Solutions, one of four medical marijuana dispensaries in Pacific.

"So basically the City is considering banning medical while allowing recreational," Gilbert said. "Where is the compassion? What are they doing? The reality is that the City of Pacific isn't doing anything, they're being controlled by lawyers and the insurance company. It's pretty sad in reality."

Gilbert was a member of the City's Marijuana Uses Advisory Workgroup, which released a report on April 22 looking at potential benefits, hazards and outcomes of recreational and medical marijuana businesses in Pacific. Gilbert said he's concerned that the more than 100 patients he serves daily at his dispensary, all card-carrying medical marijuana patients, will be the ones left out if a ban is instituted.

"Obviously, compassion doesn't matter. Money matters," Gilbert said. "I was on the workgroup with the City, and they didn't use any of my suggestions. They also didn't even have the report online when they started this process. If they want to regulate it, let's regulate it. But the bottom line is money. This screams monopoly, money and insurance companies and lawyers."

Gilbert, a lifelong resident of Pacific, said he's committed to continuing to fight and advocate for medical marijuana in his community.

"I'm really disappointed," Gilbert said. "Being from the city, I'm not going to roll over, I will not sit back and let the City of Pacific willy-nilly do whatever they want. We see 100 people a day, check their cards and help them. The people that are on the council are out of touch with the people in the city. There is a disconnect there."

The City held a public hearing July 16 on the proposed ordinances.

At Monday's meeting, the council decides what ordinances will move on to the planning commission. The planning commission will then discuss the ordinances and decide whether to pass them back to the council for another public hearing and a vote on adoption.

The meeting starts at 6:30 at City Hall, 100 Third Ave. SE.

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