Lawmaker files legislation to stop Richland pot shop

Lawmaker and nearby homeowners push back against cannabis dispensary, but some welcome the store.

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- A local lawmaker has filed emergency legislation to try to block a marijuana dispensary in Benton County from taking root.

Representative Brad Klippert filed House Bill 2238 today—a bill making small changes to state law to keep the store from opening.

Currently pot shops cannot be located within a thousand feet of a licensed child care center. This new legislation would keep the shop from opening because it is 151 feet from a preschool. Preschool's do not have to be licensed by the Department of Early Learning so the preschool doesn't count as a daycare.

There's also an emergency clause to the bill that Klippert hopes would prevent the store from opening entirely.

Although many nearby residents have protested the pot shop, one neighbor wants to see this new cannabis store open its doors.

"People have to get used to the fact that it's here,” Denise Van Corbach said. “It's legalized. My goodness, it grows in the ground."

She says the preschool is right next door to a store that sells alcohol, and she thinks the stigma against marijuana use is a double standard.

This is a story that continues to develop and we'll be following it every step of the way. Representative Klippert does not know if, or when, his new bill will be voted on.

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