Sunday, March 8, 2015

Illegal Pot Store Could Be Fined $1k a Day

A Parkland recreational marijuana store that's flouting the county's pot ban was served with a notice of violation on Wednesday.

Owners of The Gallery received their state license last week and officially began selling marijuana on Sunday, despite a countywide ban on recreational marijuana sales.

"Our intention is not to pick a fight with the county or poke anyone in the eye,"  Gallery co-owner Tedd Wetherbee said on Sunday. "We don't want to do that -- we just want to say, 'Let us do business, let us pay taxes to the state and let us do what we've been licensed to do by the state.'"

The county responded Wednesday by serving the shop a notice of violation for operating without a required permit. County officials say the business is in violation of county code by "operating without a tenant occupancy permit." The business owners have two weeks to appeal the notice, according to the county.

On Sunday, Wetherbee said the business is here to stay and pointed to a dozen nearby medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating illegally.

"We're licensed by the state to do business. We're doing absolutely nothing illegal," he said last week.

Washington's Initiative 502 legalized marijuana in 2014, but Pierce County created an ordinance that says recreational pot shops won't be allowed until marijuana is "removed from the schedule of controlled substances by the federal government."

The Gallery could be fined up to $1,000 a day for operating without the proper permits, according to the county.

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