Marijuana farm supporters rally in light of county’s efforts to develop regulations

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About 150 people gathered at Memorial Park last night in Wenatchee to support marijuana farms in Chelan County.

Caitlein Ryan, President of the Central Washington Grower’s Association, says the county has chosen to move forward with a court battle to uphold the ban on marijuana.

Ryan said the Association filed an appeal after the county passed a ban on marijuana grow operations in March of 2016.

“We have over the last year continued to agree to put that lawsuit off,” Ryan said. “The county, however, decided to move forward with that lawsuit. That was not the decision of the Grower’s Association, that was the decision of the county.”

Recommendations will be presented to county commissioners

The Chelan County Planning Commission is expected to present recommendations to Chelan County Commissioners this month. Chelan County Planner Mike Wojtowicz told NCWLIFE the planning commission is expected to recommend banning outdoor grows, and allow indoor grow operations with specific requirements.

Caitlein Ryan

“We would prefer not to waste taxpayers dollars, we would like for the process to move forward– it isn’t complete,” Ryan said. “Right now it is in the planning commission’s hands and will go the commissioners hands hopefully by the end of March.”

Ryan added that she felt the lawsuit is in an effort to shut down all pot farm operations in Chelan County.

“Right now, in particular county legal is trying to shut all of it down,” Ryan said. “The amount of money being wasted on moving forward with any of these lawsuits or any of this legal action is extraordinary.”

The industry provides nearly 1,000 jobs throughout the county at peak season, Ryan said, adding that growers have invested an estimated $74 million in operations in Chelan County.

“To try and shut us down at such a crucial time in this county’s development would be a massive disaster.”

The Chelan County Prosecutor’s Office was not immediately available for comment.