Plans to create a half-acre pot growing facility are moving forward in the town of Battle Ground as it hopes to become the first city to benefit from the legalization of marijuana in Washington State.
An unnamed group hopes to buy a piece of land and turn it into an 18,000-foot marijuana-growing operation. Their plan is entering the approval process with the Washington Liquor Control Board.
Jaynee Forbis, a mother of three, said she's not happy about the facility coming to her hometown.
"Having a plant just even in our community makes a statement that we're OK with that and I just don't agree with that," she said.
Dennis Pavlina owns the land and said he didn't think twice about it.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to bring tax dollars that are a benefit to the public versus paying law enforcement to try and regulate it," Pavlina said.
Though marijuana is legal in Washington State, most cities and counties have put a temporary ban on pot-growing facilities until they can discuss regulations surrounding the operation.
Community development director Robert Maul said Battle Ground is the only jurisdiction in Clark County that hasn't put a temporary ban on pot-growing facilities.
"In six months to a year, you'll see a different landscape in Clark County," Maul said. "It's going to be like most other industries where, when a market
presents itself, then people are going to fill that niche."
The manufacturing plant would bring 30 to 50 new jobs to the area, including scientists and people in charge of sales.
Last year, the state liquor control board capped the maximum number of pot shops in Clark County at 15. The city of Battle Ground is being allowed one shop.
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