County prepares to decide on collective pot gardens

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

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Clark County commissioners expect to talk medical pot one more time this week as they suss out regulations on medical marijuana collective gardens.

Commissioners David Madore and Steve Stuart delayed action at last Tuesday's public hearing, waiting for Commissioner Tom Mielke to return from a leave. Mielke's mother, who lived in the Spokane area, recently died.

State law allows medical marijuana growers to establish community gardens where as many as 10 patients can grow up to 45 plants.

Vancouver elected in December to zone the gardens to specific areas of town.

But the commissioners placed a moratorium on the gardens in unincorporated Clark County as staff drafted a plan.

Now, commissioners are mulling over two proposals.

One would be to continue a moratorium while the courts decide on challenges to bans in other jurisdictions.

Another would be to ban commercial activity in the gardens. Essentially it would eliminate selling marijuana, and limit how often individuals can join the collectives.

Still, the second option would provide for a private grow without the county's being involved in zoning or permitting.

The commissioners will address the matter at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.


Erik Hidle: 360-735-4542; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov; erik.hidle@columbian.com.