Getty Images
Getty Images

Monday, Pasco became the first city government in the Tri-Cities to left its retail pot ban.

The council vote is 4-3

Three council members, Pete Serrano, David Milne, and Irving Brown voted no, while Mayor Blanche Barajas and council members Joseph Campos and Zahra Roach and Mayor Pro Tem Craig Maloney voted yes.

The vote lifts the commercial ban on retail pot business, allowing such business in six zones, three commercial and three industrial.

According to Pasco's zoning map, there are a number of areas where conceivably one of the four licenses in Pasco could go. The vote would allow potential pot business in Commercial Zones C-1, 2, and 3, and Industrial -1.2 and 3.

The pink, white, and red shaded areas would be potential areas.


City of Pasco
City of Pasco

However, because of state-mandated buffers near schools, playgrounds, daycare facilities, and other requirements, supporters of retail pot say finding available space to locate has been difficult.

Reports claim the city could get as much as $200,000 annually from the state's tax-revenue 'sharing' plan for retail pot, but the majority of the money goes to the largest metro areas, namely King County. In 2022 the state took in just over $515 million from retail pot sales, Reports indicate the taxes were nearly $1 billion. Of that, $20 million goes back to city governments.

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There are roughly 1,005-10 pot stores in WA state, many cities have multiples. Seven counties have 20 or more pot shops, and 8 others have over 10.  Since the state money returned to local governments is split up based in part on how much sales a city has, the idea Pasco will get as much as $200K annually is perhaps far-fetched.

A few years ago, the Yakima-Herald Republic reported Yakima got around $124K in revenue back from the state.

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