KITTITAS, WA - Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. However, years later there are still issues being worked through in Washington like zoning laws, and who is responsible for enforcing them.
In a recent ruling, it was stated that the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is not responsible for these zoning laws.
"There were some stores I believe in Kittitas County that were operating outside of local zoning requirements," said Brian Smith, spokesperson, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB).
In response Kittitias County tried to stop WSLCB from allowing licenses outside of approved zones.
"The Liquor and Cannabis Board was essentially sued or it was challenged in court that we need to take into consideration local zoning efforts," said Smith.
The ruling ended up being against the county.
"Ruled in favor of the Liquor and Cannabis Board, that indeed local regulations such as zoning need to be enforced at the local level," said Smith.
Smith says things change often at the local level and the state board just can't keep up with each county's changes.
"We can't keep track of changing zoning requirements across the state... It's local zoning requirements are different from every municipality across the states," said Smith.
Kittitas County isn't alone when it comes to enforcing zoning laws. 23 marijuana businesses received a cease and desist letter from Yakima County because they violated the county's zoning law.