Pot enthusiasts and parents agree: Less is more

Pot enthusiasts and parents agree: Less is more
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- You never would have figured, but the state's newest marijuana laws have head shops and parents in agreement right here in the Tri-Cities. It's over the idea of how much is too much, and when it comes to the possibility of pot shops, both groups we talked to say less is more.

“It just became legal and everyone expects it to be like cigarettes,” said Zebadiah Hindman. Hindman has been in the marijuana smoke shop industry for two years. If you ask him, pot shops shouldn't be the new Starbucks.

“Maybe one or two, perfect; but 10, no," he said. He’s referring to the magic number for Benton County, 10. For Franklin, it’s five. These numbers are part of the newest rules to come down from the state. They’re proposed regulations on how many recreational marijuana stores Washington counties can have out of the 334 allowed.

"We've instructed our staff to look at possible ordinances. We've instructed our GIS crew to map out any places that would be prohibited in the county, because the restrictions of the initiative about where they can be placed," said Benton County Commissioner Jerome Delvin.

From the way the rules read, counties seem to have the option on how few pot shops they want. For Benton that could mean, 10, 5 or for some parents hopefully zero. “The least amount possible, if you can't have zero, then one," said one dad KEPR stopped. “Zero would be ideal," said another.

But that's still smoke and mirrors said Delvin. “The county doesn't give out business licenses." Washington put the cart before the horse he said, everyone is scrambling to find a solution. In the meantime, they're figuring out what they do know and what they want. “Certainly,” he said when asked if they get the option to limit would they. “If we had the option, certainly," he said.

Although it’s to protect the industry from being once again banned, Hindman's hoping Benton County does regulate down to two stores. He said it’s out making sure pot stays out of little hands, stays accessible and stays legal. “If it doesn't work out, it will just get repealed again," he said.

The rules also put on how much can be sold in Washington every year. Sellers would have to track their inventory from seed to sale. You've got a month to weigh in before the rules can be made official. At this pace -- stores could open by next June.