Lawmakers looking at new regulations for marijuana shops - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Lawmakers looking at new regulations for marijuana shops

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Church leaders say Lucky Leaf is too close about 600 feet away. Church leaders say Lucky Leaf is too close about 600 feet away.

On Thursday, Our Lady of Lourdes and Lucky Leaf were at a hearing. 

The church wants licensed marijuana retail shops to be gone in certain parts of downtown Spokane and they are asking for the state's help.

Business at the Lucky Leaf hasn't been easy. "We've had more negative from a group of protesters," said Lucky Leaf Co-Owner Shilo Morgan.

Some of those protesters are from Our Lady of Lourdes parish. "I certainly encourage them to relocate," said Sister Paschalina Marie.

Sister Paschalina Marie doesn't mince words. She says they often have children at the church and thinks the marijuana shop should be gone. "I have seen the influence of illicit drugs and I don't want that for our kids," said Sister Paschalina Marie.

However, Lucky Leaf is in compliance with the rules. The city says the shop is located in a legal spot.

But church leaders say Lucky Leaf is too close about 600 feet away.

Here's what state law says: Buffer Zones--The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is prohibited from licensing a marijuana business that would be located within a statutory buffer zone. Unless the zone is reduced by a local government, a license marijuana business cannot be located within 1,000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, or library, or any game arcade that admits anybody under age twenty-one (RCW 69.50.331 (8) (a).

The problem is, unlike a school or a day care, there is nothing in the law  that applies to that 1,000 feet distance rule for a church.

Meanwhile, Morgan says, "We should all be able to work together as a community and help grow this community."

No ruling happened at Thursday's hearing. Senator Baumgartner is talking with Spokane council members to see if they would support restriction on marijuana shops in downtown, much like what is done with alcohol impact areas.

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