5th Judge Rules WA Municipalities Can Ban Marijuana

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Despite the fact that marijuana sales are now legal in Washington State, businesses can’t set up shop just anywhere.

The industry lost yet another court case after a judge ruled that Pierce County has the ability to ban recreational marijuana businesses, the fifth consecutive ruling that allows local municipalities to block the industry from taking root.

The ruling could lead to an appeal to a higher court.

Clark County and the cities of Kennewick, Fife and Wenatchee have all won court fights to ban sales after voters approved Initiative 502 two years ago.

The state attorney general has said that the law doesn’t prevent municipalities from banning cannabis companies, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

“As I have said from the beginning, the drafters of Initiative 502 could have required local jurisdictions to allow the sale of recreational marijuana,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a release. “It could have been done in a single sentence, but it was not. Now it is up to the Legislature to decide whether to require local governments to allow for the sale of marijuana.”