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Two apply for county marijuana business licenses

Maureen Cooke, the owner of a pub on South Whidbey, applied for licensing for a retail marijuana store in Bayview. - Photo by Ben Watanabe/South Whidbey Record
Maureen Cooke, the owner of a pub on South Whidbey, applied for licensing for a retail marijuana store in Bayview.
— image credit: Photo by Ben Watanabe/South Whidbey Record

The anticipated operators of two recreational-marijuana-related businesses planned for Whidbey Island have filed applications with the Island County Planning Department.

That leaves another 40 applicants who filed with the Washington State Liquor Control Board for licenses to start pot-related businesses on the island but haven’t taken the necessary regulatory steps with Island County government.

The first applicants, Judy and Josh Harvey, propose to build a 3,833-square-foot barn for the production and processing of marijuana on a secluded road outside of Coupeville.

Maureen Cooke, the owner of a pub on South Whidbey, also filed applications for a site plan and a building permit for a 760-square-foot marijuana retail store in Bayview next to the El Corral Mexican restaurant. She opened the shop for a short time last week — though she didn’t have any product — but it turned out she didn’t have the necessary approvals from the county.

People have until 3 p.m. on Aug. 13 to submit comments on her proposal to the Island County Planning Department.

The Harvey site, on the other hand, lies within Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. County officials initially proposed banning pot businesses from the area, but that changed after Coupeville farmers said they were against restrictions that would treat Central Whidbey different from other areas of the county.

Nevertheless, Coupeville resident Jim Martyn has written a petition asking the county to deny the Harvey’s land-use application because it is within the reserve, among other reasons.

“Because drug-farming is strictly prohibited in any part of a National Park, the county is contractually bound to refrain from issuing  any permit for establishing and operating a drug growing and processing  operation within Ebey’s Reserve,” Martyn wrote.

Island County is accepting public comment on the proposal until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 6. Comments can be dropped off at the office or faxed to 360-679-7306.

The proposed growing and processing operation would be on Edgefield Lane. The Harveys, along with Esther Bandelin Rodriguez and Mark Rodriguez, filed for a license with the state under the business name Salish Seas Industries.

Their application to the county states that they propose to build a barn on 13 acres of property. It will not be open to the public and will be monitored by security cameras and an alarm system.

The operating plan filed with the state for a “tier two” production operation describes a technical operation with a “Bio Track” software to inventory the pot “from seed to sale.” An accredited lab will test the pot for potency and chemicals. The unused parts of the plants will be quarantined and then mixed with other matter before being composted.

Bulk product will be weighed, bagged and labeled for individual sale elsewhere, the plan states.

The applicants don’t plan to create any liquid or “dangerous waste.”

The plans states that Josh Harvey is a master grower with more than 15 years of growing experience.

Esther Bandelin Rodriguez worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a decade and is management consultant with a focus on system implementation.

Mark Rodriguez has a degree in environmental land-use planning and more than 10 years’ experience in the field, the operating plan states.

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