Stop the County Commissioners Office from banning i502 Farms in Chelan County, WA.
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The current attempt by the Chelan County Commissioners to change the zoning and regulations pertaining I-502 Marijuana Farms in Chelan County is a direct attempt to force legal I-502 marijuana farming from the County.
The state of Washington has legalized the producing, processing and retail sales of medical and recreational marijuana throughout the state of Washington. The current attempt to ban these farms at the county level would affect about 40 producers and processors that have been operating in the County legally under I-502. This ban would further force roughly over 500 citizens of Chelan County out of a job. This would place an unnecessary burden on the State of Washington and Chelan County family assistant programs. The unemployment rate in Chelan County would rise from 6.7% to 8.7%. The ban will result in nearly $26 million dollars in lost wages. I-502 cannabis producers and processors in Chelan County are creating jobs that fill a vital role by providing a new source of rapid job growth and economic activity.
A ban on I-502 farming will have a massive impact on the Chelan County economy as well as the State of Washington. This ban will negatively affect a wide variety of businesses such as restaurants, hardware stores, grocery stores, garden supply stores, fast food restaurants, service stations, daycare facilities, cinemas and any other places where I-502 farms take their business. The I-502 ban in Chelan County would also have negative effect, statewide, as supply shortages arise due to the fact that all the marijuana produced and processed on I-502 Farms in Chelan County is sold state wide.
By forcing the I-502 farms to shut down, you directly affect the statewide medical marijuana patients that rely on Chelan County for their supply of Washington State approved medical marijuana. As a result, this ban would deny quality medical marijuana to thousands of veterans of our armed forces. The ban would also create a loss of over $3 million dollars in tax revenue for Chelan County.
All the I-502 farms that are operating throughout Chelan County have met all the requirements set forth by the State of Washington, Chelan County Commissioners and Chelan County Planning Department. The I-502 Farms have also made a sizeable monetary investment in their farming operations. All the I-502 Farms that are currently operating in Chelan County have complied with all zoning and building requirements. The new rules should be enacted that allow existing farms to continue to produce due to the fact that they have followed all requirements in good faith. In addition to allowing existing farms to operate, the health of this industry in Chelan County relies on fair regulation for new farms to enter the County.
Cannabis producers and processors should be given the same level of acceptance we have for other agricultural businesses when it comes to seasonal nuisances. Any restrictions that hinder a company’s ability to operate and expand with unobtainable regulations stifle growth of the I-502 industry.
We are asking that a complete ban on I-502 not be enforced. Instead, we request that if a ban is put into effect (by resolution of effectively by highly restrictive ordinance), all the I-502 farms currently in operation in Chelan County are allowed to be “grandfathered in” continuing to operate according to Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Regulations.
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