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Marijuana dispensary aims to steer clear of city limits

Ty Rundquist hopes to split the workload for his medical marijuana business, Greenthumb Medical, between two South Kitsap locations.

Customers would first go to the upper level at 944 Bay Street to get an authorization for the drug.

Then, they would proceed to a different location on Mile Hill Drive, past South Park Village, to obtain the marijuana.

Rundquist has already leased the Bay Street Building, and he said on Monday he’d like the location ready for occupancy by the end of the week.

But he’s run into a major obstacle.

The Port Orchard City Council imposed a moratorium on accepting or processing applications for permits or licenses for building or land use activity involving medical marijuana.

Greg Jacoby, the city’s attorney, recommended the moratorium to give staff at the city time to look at relevant zoning issues and see whether or not lawmakers in Olympia pass a bill clarifying the legality of the dispensaries.

“This is to maintain the status quo while we look at alternatives,” said Greg Jacoby, the city’s attorney. “This gives you options as we see what develops in Olympia and elsewhere.”

Washington state’s current laws are unclear about the legality of the dispensaries, so some local governments have deemed them to be legal while others have not.

“It says that, if you are going to have a dispensary, you can provide marijuana to one person at a time,” said Jacoby at a work-study session on Feb. 15.

Different areas have interpreted the phrase “one person at a time” to mean different things, but state lawmakers are considering a law to legalize the dispensaries under certain conditions.

“The Senate bill would create a licensing system for people that produce process and dispense marijuana,” said Jacoby. “It would allow dispensaries, but they would have to be nonprofit, and there would be a whole registration process with the Department of Health.

But for now, no one can apply for a permit for a marijuana-related business in Port Orchard, because of the moratorium.

“I met with Mr. Jacoby and two gentleman hoping to avoid the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Mayor Lary Coppola during his mayor’s report at the Port Orchard City Council meeting on March 8. “They didn’t go away all that happy, I believe.”

“They’d already leased some space,” Coppola said, “and they were hoping to avoid being caught on it.”

The names men who spoke with Coppola and Jacoby may or may not be related to Greenthumb Medical.

The meeting wasn’t public.

Outside the city, the Department of Licensing Master License Service has not yet processed an application for the marijuana dispensary on Mile Hill Drive.

It sometimes, however, takes up to a few weeks for the applications to process.

Rundquist said that he couldn’t offer any more details about the issue until next week, when his attorney would be present.

A public hearing about the moritorium is scheduled for March 22 at 7 p.m. at Port Orchard’s City Hall.

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