My statement to Planning Commission around marijuana in Maple Valley

This is the statement I made on Feb 2nd 2017 at the Maple Valley Planning Commission around marijuana stores in Maple Valley.

There has been no increased enforcement costs to Maple Valley for marijuana, yet recreational marijuana has been approved since 2012 and medical usage since 1998. My current understanding is there have been no arrests for marijuana in the time the Bud Hut has been open.

Bud Hut is legally licensed, in compliance with I-502 regulations, and currently operating. It has paid over $600,000 in state taxes since July 2016, employs 20, currently hiring 3-4 more, and has 7 of our veterans employed in the Maple Valley store alone. Backdooring a legal business in order to close it sends a clear message that no business is safe in this community if people’s beliefs object to the business.

Lastly, I direct this commission to review HB-1099 that was introduced and has broad bipartisan support in the state legislature. This bill establishes that effective January 1st 2018, a municipality that refuses to allow the siting or operation of retail marijuana business, absent the formal adoption of an ordinance or resolution explicitly prohibiting the operation of such business, will forfeit 70% of the share of the liquor revolving fund, and all its share of the state marijuana excise tax revenue it may be entitled to. This appears to signal a loss to Maple Valley of over $175,000 a year, in addition to the money earned from the marijuana fund. The city can not absorb that loss and it means this commission can not recommend against having these stores in Maple Valley and open the city up to these losses.

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