Man defies moratorium on recreational marijuana stores in uninco - KPTV - FOX 12

Man defies moratorium on recreational marijuana stores in unincorporated Clark Co.

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Sticky's Pot Shop in Hazel Dell. Sticky's Pot Shop in Hazel Dell.

Recreational marijuana shops have been banned in unincorporated parts of Clark County since 2014, but that didn't stop a man from opening one.

That man now faces fines and possibly legal trouble if he doesn't close the shop.

John Larson opened Sticky's Pot Shop last month in Hazel Dell. It's located in an unincorporated part of Clark County, a place where there is a moratorium banning recreational pot stores.

Clark Co. passed the moratorium in 2014.

Larson said state law trumps local codes. He also said he is following Washington state law and the county code needs to be revised.

"I'm going to operate until they put me in handcuffs and take me off to jail. Because I am in full compliance with the law. And, apparently, they have not read that part yet. So, they are going to operate unlawfully as long as they want to," said Larson.

Larson isn't the first to argue this issue, but in 2014, Washington's Attorney General said local moratoriums banning pot shops is legal.

The Clark Co. code compliance website said once a violation is found, you're given a deadline to make changes. If you miss the deadline, you must comply in 10 days or face fines.

Unpaid fines lead to a county lien on your property. Then, your case goes to the prosecuting attorney for legal action.

FOX 12 spoke with people at code enforcement who said they're investigating a potential violation and are deciding what to do about it.

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