Legalized marijuana is coming to Washington. And for some, it may hit close to home.
ELLENSBURG, WA -- Last year, Washington voters passed Initiative-502 legalizing the production and sale of recreational marijuana.
Legalized marijuana is coming to Washington. And for some, it may hit close to home. Rickie Brown has lived in her small neighborhood for 18 years. Recently her neighbor sold their property to a person applying to grow and process marijuana. Something Rickie had to find out from a friend.
"(There was) no proper way to inform the public," Rickie Brown said. "They didn't put it on the TV, they didn't put it in the paper, they didn't hand a letter, they didn't prescribe public notices."
According to state law, all marijuana facilities must be at least 1000 feet away from parks, transit centers and schools, including bus stops. According to Rickie, that's a problem. Rickie says she measured the distance between the end of the property and the nearest school bus stop. And it was only 543 feet.
She brought the issue to Kittitas County but they have little say in where legal marijuana facilities are allowed to set up.
"The Liquor Control Board of Washington has accepted the applications and is going through them and granting licenses," Kittitas County Commissioner Obie O'Brien said. "None of that is in the county control."
That leaves Rickie waiting for the Washington Liquor Control Board to make a decision whether the state allows the license next door or not.
"I have three granddaughters," Rickie says. "They can't come out and visit Grandma because their parents are upstanding citizens and will say no you're next to a pot farm."
The Liquor Control Board says they are still reviewing 19 marijuana license applications in Kittitas County and 34 applications in Yakima County. People have until December 20th to apply and then the Liquor Control Board can begin issuing licenses.