Marijuana

Jake Locker, Woods Coffee owner ask Ferndale to limit pot stores

Football campers swarm and take down Jake Locker, then a Tennessee Titans quarterback, at Locker’s annual youth football camp at Ferndale High on June 29, 2013. Locker, a Ferndale native, asked the city council to prevent a second marijuana store from opening, citing concerns about keeping the drug from kids and focusing on families.
Football campers swarm and take down Jake Locker, then a Tennessee Titans quarterback, at Locker’s annual youth football camp at Ferndale High on June 29, 2013. Locker, a Ferndale native, asked the city council to prevent a second marijuana store from opening, citing concerns about keeping the drug from kids and focusing on families. The Bellingham Herald

Three months after the City Council narrowly voted to allow a second marijuana store in Ferndale, they took up the issue again at the request of three business owners, including former NFL quarterback Jake Locker.

Locker, a Ferndale native, owns Locker Room Fitness in Ferndale. Wes Herman, owner of Woods Coffee, and Bryan Van Loo, part-owner of Andgar Corp., also asked the council to reconsider its Feb. 1 decision.

Ferndale already has one licensed pot store, Buds SOS on Portal Way.

Owners’ worries

In letters to the City Council, the three said they were concerned about keeping the drug away from youth, protecting the community and keeping Ferndale focused on families first.

What the council considered

There were two parts.

First, immediately prevent a second store from opening by approving a temporary, emergency moratorium.

Second, ask Ferndale voters in November whether they would want to essentially bar all new pot businesses — growers, processors and retailers — from opening in the city. This would have been an advisory vote to the council.

They failed by a vote of 3-4 on Monday, May 16.

Council members Cathy Watson, Keith Olson and Brent Goodrich were on the losing side.

The trio also voted, on Feb. 1, against a second pot store in Ferndale.

What council members said

Cathy Watson: “I know not everybody was happy we brought it forward again, but people are allowed to ask you, ‘Would you mind thinking about it again?’ ”

Rebecca Xczar: “We do have a store in Ferndale. The sky has not fallen. It’s been here for eight months. It’s doing well.”

Keith Olson: “I would like to see an advisory vote. Why didn’t we give the citizens of the city the ultimate say, yes or no.”

Greg Hansen: “Drawing the line at one store versus two, it seems like an arbitrary line to me. We’ve already opened the door. A second store isn’t going to make a significant difference. History is pushing us in a different direction.”

Hansen was referring to the number of states that are legalizing marijuana.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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