Yakima County Commissioners Vote to Ban Marijuana Businesses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County Commissioners Vote to Ban Marijuana Businesses

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After a year of moratoriums, Yakima County Commissioners have voted to ban the production, processing and retail sale of marijuana. After a year of moratoriums, Yakima County Commissioners have voted to ban the production, processing and retail sale of marijuana.
YAKIMA, WA - After a year of moratoriums, Yakima County Commissioners have voted to ban the production, processing and retail sale of marijuana. 

There was a mixed reaction from those in attendance Tuesday morning. But the commissioners didn't seem to have any doubts. They unanimously approved the ban on marijuana businesses.

"All those in favor say I," Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey said. "Motion carried."

And just like that, marijuana businesses in Yakima County were banned from opening shop. Some commissioners had strong words to say.

"I don't agree with that lifestyle," Commissioner Rand Elliot said. "And I don't feel any obligation to condone it or make life easier>
For nearly a year, county commissioners have been debating whether to allow marijuana shops. The commissioners waited until the very last month before recreational sales started to finally make their decision.

"To wait until the last minute, to wait for other cities to position themselves in bans," CAUSE-M Spokesman Jedidiah Haney said. "And to wait for a non binding opinion, mind you, from the attorney general, is a little bit interesting."

"While we may have been criticized that it took a year," Bouchey said. "I think it was important to take that time."
%56 of Yakima County voters did not want Initiative 502. County commissioners said that was an important factor. 
"That weighed heavily in the minds of all three commissioners that was apparent today," Bouchey said.
Commissioners are forgoing possible tax revenue from these businesses for what they say is the good of the public.

"There's still the concern as far as the overall impact to the youth of our county," Bouchey said. "Becoming more readily accessible to youth. It's another negative."

But not everyone agrees.

"A stable regulated industry would literally take the ability of profiteering out of the illicit market," Haney said.

In the end, the commissioners had the last word. 
"We made the best choice for the residents of this county," Bouchey said.

Meaning marijuana shops will now have to look outside Yakima County to open up their doors. This ban doesn't effect cities in Yakima County. Meaning they still have the right to pass their own resolutions regarding marijuana. This ban also doesn't affect possessing or smoking marijuana. That is still legal. 
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