Pot stores coming to Tri-Cities?

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The Tri-Cities has put a temporary ban on allowing pot to be bought and sold legally. That hasn't stopped anyone from applying to own a store or grow and process weed.

Washington continues to move ahead with plans to allow pot sales at designated stores. The state is now taking applications for who will get to sell.

Janet Gumm said, "Being able to sell it so easily, that's just going to create more problems."

She lives across from the One Stop Mart on Jadwin in Richland. The gas station applied to be one of the first to sell pot legally.

Four other locations also applied for the right. The same owner of the One Stop Mart in Richland applied for a second location in Pasco. A liquor store in West Richland and a shop in Kennewick have also applied.

Benton and Franklin Counties are allowed to have 15 locations in all.

We called every grower, processor or retailer we could find a phone number for. We found most of the businesses exist in name only. No one would go on camera to talk about their application.

One man, a grower, said that what he was doing is illegal so he'd rather keep his identity under wraps until all this gets sorted out.

Heather Kintzley is Richland's city attorney. It's her job to sift through the legalese and give the city a clear idea of the law. Right now Richland, Kennewick and Pasco all issued temporary moratoriums on enacting the law which buys them time to sort it out.

She said, "The moratorium is not a solution, it's a safe guard that allows us to study the issue as we decide how we're going to move forward."

Janet hopes the city will dig in its heels and keep a ban permanent.

She said, "All we can do is just fight for what we feel is right and not only for ourselves but for our children, grand-children and great-grandchildren coming up."

She's counting on city leaders to uphold her vision.

Licenses will be issued in early spring with the first stores opening by summer.