SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.—A man who wants to open up a marijuana shop in Spokane Valley claimed he is not allowed even though there is no law stopping him.
Justin Peterson said the requirements for the City of Spokane Valley went too far beyond what the state required for a marijuana store. City staff said council members were still working on their final plan for the industry.
Peterson had been working since August 2013 to open his pot retail store. He said there was not a space that met all of the City’s requirements.
"I don't want to be anywhere near where kids would frequent or we don't want to be anywhere near where they could have easy access to something that's only available for 21 and older,” said Peterson.
Peterson said a spot along Sprague met state requirements but did not meet the requirements of Spokane Valley.
In Spokane Valley, a pot store cannot be within 1,000 feet of a trail or any land that may be used for a school or library in the future. Staff with the City said they were following state guidelines that let them add more requirements at the local level.
"It hurts seeing the other locations open when we're unable to get close to that,” said Peterson.
Peterson was one of only three businesses with a license to sell marijuana in Spokane Valley. He said it would be months before he could open his doors.
"I'm a small business, I just wanted to open my doors to start doors and hopefully bring in some income for both myself and the City,” said Peterson.
City staff said council members were still considering final requirements for marijuana businesses in July. The City passed temporary rules so they could spend more time deciding on a permanent policy.
"I would rather do it right than do it first,” said Peterson.
A vote on the final regulations was expected in the summer.