Few spots meet requirements for retail pot shops in Oroville

“Right now you can have it in the home and you can smoke it legally, you just can’t grow it or buy it… so I don’t know where people are getting it.”

Oroville Police Chief R. Clay Warnstaff

OROVILLE – Being rich in parks, schools, playgrounds and day care centers, means locating a marijuana store may be problematic for any would-be retailers in Oroville.

“The Department of Justice, even though they said they won’t be getting involved, has some caveats,” said Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff at the city council’s Tuesday, Nov. 5 meeting.

According to the state Liquor Control Board’s rules, licensed marijuana retail stores “must be at least 1000 feet from an elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library or arcade where admission is not restricted to those age 21 and older.”

Last year Oroville passed an ordinance where someone convicted of illegal drug dealing within 1000 feet of many of these same areas would be liable for double criminal penalties and fines. These areas were mapped out and Warnstaff had a pretty good idea what areas were not covered.

Chief Warnstaff said, “That leaves maybe a small area near John Moran’s building… about two places between there and Jon Neal’s where someone could set up a shop in the city.”

Medical marijuana is currently under separate rules as far as quantity someone could possess, but Warnstaff said there are some that want the two groups to abide by the same rules.

“We have people in town that can grow it legally (for medical use),” said Warnstaff.

About the new legalized marijuana laws he added, “Right now you can have it in the home and you can smoke it legally, you just can’t grow it or buy it… so I don’t know where people are getting it.”

Facts from the Washington State Liquor Control Board on I-502 which legalized marijuana for private use:  http://lcb.wa.gov/marijuana/faqs_i-502

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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