Benton County Commissioners answer community questions regarding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Commissioners answer community questions regarding future dispensary

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WEST RICHLAND, WA - Marijuana was a hot topic today at the Benton County Commissioners meeting. This comes just days after a property in Benton County went public as a future dispensary location.

Benton County Commissioners explained to the packed audience in the meeting today that since the land is zoned commercial and the business has a license issued by the state, there really isn't anything the county could do even if they wanted to.

They said it's no different than if a mini-mart moved in and had a liquor license. One point of contention some of the people who live nearby the property had was what they called a lack of communication between the county and the cities of Richland and West Richland.

But today, the commissioners showed those people their proof of notification.

"Both cities are saying they were not contacted, and quite frankly, by only notifying with a phone call, you have left no paper trail to show that you've made any kind of effort at all," said John Muenks, who lives near the future dispensary location. "If you did send an email, we'd like to see it."

The commissioners were able to provide Muenks and others with what they wanted to see.

"Okay," Muenks said. "This is good to see."

The county clarified to the crowded room that whether you agree or disagree with the location of a dispensary, the state is responsible for issuing the licenses for any given location - not counties or cities - and since the county isn't responsible for issuing the license, it isn't responsible for notifying nearby residents.

Notifying residents isn't necessary anyway, because again, it isn't considered any different than any other business moving into a commercial space.

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