CLARKSTON, Wash -- Group grows of medical marijuana have been banned in Clarkston for at least six months.
The city council adopted a moratorium on collective cannabis gardens Monday night, based on a recommendation by Police Chief Joel Hastings. The temporary ban does not affect individual patients authorized to grow medical marijuana.
No one from the audience objected to the council's decision, and there was no discussion after the motion was made. Collective gardens are legal under a new law in Washington, and as many as 10 cannabis patients can grow up to 45 plants in a shared plot.
"This gives the city some time to research the impact of collective grows and how they could affect the community and neighborhoods," Hastings said after the meeting.
Concerns about group grows include increased traffic in areas where these gardens are located and the possibility of thefts, Hastings said. "We've already had two burglaries where marijuana grows were targeted," he said.
A public hearing on the moratorium will be conducted within the next 60 days.
In other city business, the council approved funding $2 million of an upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant with municipal bonds. These types of debt obligations are issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to use for building schools, highways, hospitals, sewer systems and other projects for the public. People who purchase municipal bonds are essentially lending money to a government entity for a specified amount of interest.
The interest, determined at the time the bonds are issued, is estimated at approximately 4.68 percent and the bond fees are $47,000, according to Keller and Associates of Meridian. Representatives attended Monday's council meeting to update officials on the $12.5 million project.
Other funding sources include a Public Works Trust Fund loan of $10 million and a $500,000 loan from the Department of Ecology. The council considered a bank loan for the unsecured portion of funding before making the decision to go with municipal bonds.
(c)2011 the Lewiston Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho)
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