Washington officials leave door open to recreational marijuana pharmacy – News – Journal Star


Steve Stein @SpartanSteve

WASHINGTON – City officials aren’t against having an adult recreational marijuana pharmacy in the city and charging 3 percent sales tax on products.

“But that doesn’t mean we jump up and down and say ‘Pick us’ to someone who wants to open a marijuana dispensary,” Alderman Brett Adams told a committee meeting Monday.

“Let’s face it. The chances of this council approving a marijuana dispensary in Washington are slim,” said Alderman Dave Dingledine.

So why keep the door open for a pharmacy – now that adult recreational marijuana is legal in the state on Jan. 1 – and the sales tax, which is on top of the city’s current sales tax of 8.5 percent?

The deadline for filing for marijuana sales tax with the state is September 30th. City Administrator Ray Forsythe called this a once in a lifetime opportunity with no pharmacy approval requirement.

Alderman Todd Yoder and Mike Brownfield said the city shouldn’t close the door to a future source of income after increasing the city’s sales tax on infrastructure works and increasing water and sewer rates by 1/2 percent in recent months.

The city council will vote on marijuana sales tax at its meeting next week.

The planning and zoning commission will recommend locations for a marijuana dispensary to the city council after public hearings.

Mayor Gary Manier, after saying at a previous meeting that he was not against a marijuana dispensary in town, said Monday he was against it now “after hearing from large numbers of residents”.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.