Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum

Breaking news update: Cheney calls special meeting to review marijuana ordinance

This is a revised story updated with new information received late Jan. 23 and with a couple corrections.


There will be a special meeting of the Cheney City Council Monday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. to review Ordinance W-18 dealing with the location of businesses wished to produce, process or retail marijuana within the city.

The meeting is being held in response to a recent opinion by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson regarding cities and counties requirements under the new laws established by voter approval of Initiative 502 in November 2012 legalizing marijuana for recreational use. In a reply to questions from the state Liquor Control Board regarding initiative requirements, Ferguson ruled that the initiative as written did not pre-empt local government’s rights to restrict or ban a business that desires to grow, process or sell marijuana.

Cheney’s council passed Ordinance W-18 in November 2013. The ordinance requires businesses wishing to grow, process or sell marijuana to follow city-established guidelines under the conditional use permit application process. Siting requirements used from the initiative limit businesses wishing to engage in the marijuana industry to locations within the Business Park and Light industrial zones only.

Initiative 502 was passed by 55.7 of voters statewide in the Nov. 6, 2012 general election. Spokane County voters approved the measure by 52.15 percent and Cheney voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use by the state margin of 55.71 percent.

Monday’s special meeting will include discussion by the City Council and the opportunity by citizens for public comment on whether to modify, repeal or replace the city’s ordinance allowing the location of businesses growing, processing or selling marijuana in the city. Two action items will be on the agenda:

1. Repeal of Ordinance W-18.

2. Ordinance prohibiting establishment of marijuana land use.

The meeting will be held in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 609 Second St.


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