Kudos to councilwoman Genaveve Starr, the only affirmative vote last week by the city council on the Initiative 502 issue for legalized marijuana retail sales in downtown Sequim. Last November, the citizens of Clallam County approved the initiative with 55 percent of the vote. Even conservative Sequim had a 52 percent majority for it.
Mayor Pratt has said there is no direct tax benefits to the city so it’s not worth it for us to proceed. I disagree. Currently, the Washington House of Representatives is working on House Bill 2144 which states a dedicated fund for the tax revenue collected on the sale of marijuana would be created for the cities and counties of Washington. The revenue would also go to education and substance abuse programs statewide.
In Colorado, the first state to legalize sale of marijuana this past Jan. 1, they project nearly $1 billion in revenue in the first year. Cities in Colorado receive 1.5 percent of the sales tax collected.
Driving down Washington Street today, it is so sad to see so many empty stores, many which have been vacant for years. A marijuana retail business would be very profitable and bring more shoppers and even more summer tourists to Sequim thus benefiting all the other merchants in Sequim.