Washington state county moves to ban legal marijuana grows

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A rural county in central Washington state has adopted new cannabis farming regulations so strict they’ll effectively run the region’s 25 licensed marijuana growers out of business.

Chelan County, about three hours east of Seattle, enacted new and stricter regulations in August, The Stranger reported, and now “only a handful” of those 25 growers stand a chance of bringing their operations into compliance.

So, while the new ordinance isn’t technically a ban, that’s what it adds up to, industry insiders contend.

“They’ve effectively banned everybody and implemented spot zoning,” Caitelin Ryan, president of the Central Washington Growers Association, told the Seattle-based news outlet.

Among the new regulations, which industry insiders say are driven by anti-marijuana conservative locals:

  • A ban on large outdoor cannabis grows
  • Small outdoor farms must be at least 1,000 feet from the property line

As a result, many of the cannabis farmers have filed a raft of lawsuits against the county in an attempt to recoup their lost investments, The Stranger reported.