SPOKANE, Wash. -- City leaders are looking at areas where recreational marijuana shops could be allowed to operate. However, leaders in the Garland District said they have concerns about marijuana shops opening on their streets if zoning ordinances change.
Garland District Board members said the new ordinance would affect the entire business district. They are also worried about what marijuana users could bring to their neighborhoods.
“There are other places that they can be in that won't be a residential slash family neighborhood,” said Julie Shepard-Hall.
The owner of Zipperz said the idea gives her mix emotions. Other business owners admitted that the change could be good for business.
A temporary ordinance states that collective gardens are allowed in commercial and industrial zones throughout Spokane. City leaders are looking at commercial and industrial zones to house recreational marijuana shops, producers, and processors.
“That's a concern for us, the type of people that marijuana will bring into the neighborhood," said Shepard-Hall.
The business owner is a member of the Garland District Board. She told KREM 2 News that she is worried that an ordinance allowing marijuana could turn customers away.
"It's something that will bring the wrong people,” she added. “Then that's something me as a business owner would be worried about."
Art gallery owner, Sue Bradley said she is worried about her students if a change is approved. Bradley teaches eight and ten-year-old children.
However, not everyone is opposing marijuana zoning to the Garland District.
"Sooner or later they might have munchies and come into the store and buy chips," said Justin Batth, B’s Garland Market Manager.
Bradley and Shepard-Hall said there are already six bars in the area and a medical marijuana shop. They are hoping to make Garland District a place for families.
"We've been working really hard building up our neighborhood so more people come down here,” said Shepard-Hall.
Garland business leaders stated that they plan to ask other business owners what they think. Leaders will take those statements to a Spokane City Council Meeting in September.