'Weed Row' along SR 9 raises questions about zoning

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 6:40 PM

Clearview, Wash., in rural southeast Snohomish County has a population of about 3,000. It's home to a general store, a lot of farm equipment, and enough medical marijuana to stop a horse in its tracks.

In fact, along its stretch of SR 9 you'll find not one or two or even three, but at least five dispensaries in just four miles.  It gives new meaning to highway.

"They deserve the right to be in business, however, not here," said neighbor Janet Miller.

The five businesses were told by the county to shut down because they were operating in rural zones not approved for marijuana. Shy Sadis, owner of The Joint dispensary fought the county and won. His shop is now the only one legally zoned because it's in a commercial strip mall.

"You could have a liquor store here," he said. "There's no reason for us not to be here."

The other four operations are scheduled to shut down by the end of 2015 as the new recreational marijuana law shakes out.

"I agree with a lot of the people out here," said Sadis. "Nobody wants to see that many pot shops on residential land."

To some, however, it isn't so much about marijuana as it is about doing business in Snohomish County.

"I was like, what in the world is going on here?" Said Trina Eddy, owner of A Canine Experience in the midst of "Weed Row." Three generations of her family run the dog care facility, which they claim was nearly put out of business by onerous county regulations while the pot shops grew like weeds and continued to operate.

"It's not fair, and it doesn't seem to be being approached in a reasonable manor," she said.

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